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The promenade in the Old Port in Montreal on Jan. 1.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Canadians across several provinces experienced heavy rainfall and prolonged high temperatures over the New Year’s weekend, compelling multiple ski resorts to close in Quebec and Ontario.

Warm spells in the winter aren’t unusual, but the projected length of the mild weather in the two provinces is notable because it’s expected to last for another three days, Environment Canada meteorologist Brian Owsiak told The Globe and Mail.

Canada’s federal weather agency had warned of flooding risk, particularly in parts of the country that were recovering from the pre-Christmas winter storm, as the snow melted in conjunction with the rain. Mr. Owsiak said those same risks are set to continue, as parts of Southern Ontario are expected to receive another 25 to 30 millimetres of rain this week. Many parts of the province already experienced 20 to 35 millimetres over the New Year’s weekend.

The combination of heavy snow during the recent storms followed by heavy rain and high temperatures was too much for many Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec ski resorts to handle, with hills such as Camp Fortune, Calabogie Peaks and Sommet Edelweiss shutting down because of poor conditions.

“We cannot groom the slopes until the snow sets as the machines will cause more damage than good at this point,” said Peter Sudermann, Camp Fortune president, in a statement. The small resort is located roughly half an hour north of Ottawa.

He said staff are trying to open the hill for Jan. 2, but that it was an “enormous task” to deal with water run-off issues from the rain.

Mont Cascades, a resort in the same area, also said it would try to open by Monday.

“This is definitely not the beginning of the season that we wanted to offer, especially in this holiday season,” it says in a statement.

Cross-country skiers also faced problems in the Ottawa region. The National Capital Commission said the activity is not recommended after the rain, and another urban trail in the city postponed grooming because of the weather.

Large swaths of Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and some Maritime provinces were under rainfall or winter weather warnings on New Year’s Eve. Many of those warnings ended by New Year’s Day, although a winter warning on Haines Road in B.C. remained in effect and cautioned drivers of heavy snowfall from Pleasant Camp to Chilkat Pass. Between 40 to 60 centimetres of snow are expected in that region by Monday night.

A special weather alert in Newfoundland and Labrador will also remain until Monday, where some areas could see up to 50 millimetres of rain and up to 10 centimetres of snow. Several parts of the province, including the St. John’s area, Avalon Peninsula North, Clarenville and surrounding areas, Bonavista Peninsula, Bay of Exploits, and central and northeastern Newfoundland will see “significant” rainfall Sunday ending with periods of snow early Monday, Environment Canada said.

Fluctuating temperatures are also expected throughout much of January, with forecasts rising into the lower double digits – well above temperatures such as 0 C or -1 C, which are considered average weather for the month.

“It isn’t impossible to get these fluctuations, even in the middle of winter, but it does look like we are going through quite a mild stretch – even by typical standards,” Mr. Owsiak said.

Using Toronto as an example, he said warmer temperatures, which reached 13 C in Toronto on Friday, and have remained at 7 C throughout Saturday afternoon with an overnight low of 2 C, are expected to last until at least Thursday.

By the end of the work week, Mr. Owsiak said Ontario should see a “cool down” for several days that will reflect more seasonal temperatures, such as -1 C or -2 C during the day, and -9 C or -10 C at night. This weather is not expected to last: By next weekend, he said the temperatures will likely perk back up.

Such ups and downs are due to a warmer weather pattern that will see a “southernly flow” of milder air move from the United States through Northern Canada, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, Mr. Owsiak said. He added that colder air typically reserved for January is locked up in the Arctic, and will remain that way for the foreseeable future until the weather pattern changes and brings the cold air down to Southern Ontario.

“If the averages are near 0 C or below, then we’re getting a lot more of the warm southerly air versus the air of the Arctic, which we would more typically see this time of year.”