Luck of the Irish blesses St. Patrick’s Day forecast in the Ottawa Valley

It was a near picture perfect St. Patrick’s Day weather wise in Ottawa and the valley on Thursday.

Blue skies and golden sunshine beamed down on those dressed in green, with temperatures hitting the high teens in Renfrew.

That’s where Dragonfly Golf Links’ driving range opened for the season.

“It was beautiful weather I saw in the forecast and we thought why not, let’s do it for our golf fans,” Chris Needham, General Manager at Dragonfly told CTV News Ottawa.

“It’s fantastic. Everybody has been cooped up all winter so we are just all excited to get out and hit some golf balls. I don’t care if I shank 45 in a row, I’m outside swinging a golf club,” Needham said.

Not wanting to waste the opportunity, Will Vincent stopped by Dragonfly on his lunch break Thursday.

“I’d rather be out here than eating lunch,” said the golfer, who can’t remember a St. Patrick’s Day with this nice weather. “How many times can you say you’re taking your lunch break on St. Paddy’s Day to hit golf balls?”

The balmy Thursday in March, a preview of what’s to come according to Environment Canada.

“The good news is that it’s an extended period, not just a one-day wonder,” senior climatologist David Phillips says. “But we see all week temperatures that are well above the melting mark.”

But as green of a day as it turned out to be on the range and along patios and streets, there is a warning that snow is still expected in the forecast.

Environment Canada says roughly 10 percent of Ottawa’s annual snowfall comes after the turn of the season into spring.

“We can’t write the final chapter on snow yet,” Phillips says. “[Ottawa has] had only three Aprils in 75 years that have not seen snow in Ottawa. So we know that’s coming.”

For Vincent, it’s a worry for another time. On Thursday’s lunch hour, he was just searching for the bottom of his bucket of balls.

“Yeah, we’ll go back to work after this but you take advantage of the weather when you can right,” Vincent said. “So we’ll go back in an hour to work, but now we’ll hit some balls.”

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