Bye bye, winter: Spring weather arrives in Alberta
Temperatures expected to reach double digits across the province this week
Spring has finally arrived in Alberta.
After enduring what seemed like a winter that would never end, much more spring-like temperatures are forecast in the coming days, with highs expected to reach 22 C in some parts of the province.
A ridge of high pressure pushing up from the United States is cause for the spate of nice weather, said Environment Canada meteorologist Heather Pimiskern.
- If you think winter has been particularly harsh this year — you're right
- February was rough and March won't be drastically better, climatologist says
"It will bring warm air from the southwest and that will help to boost our temperatures to the mid to high teens, and maybe even into the twenties," she said.
The average high for this time of year in Calgary and Edmonton is about 13 C.
"We were in a fairly stagnant pattern for the winter, with a jet stream south of us, so it allowed a number of systems to transfer through Alberta and it perpetuated with a lot of snow, a lot of wind, and really cold temperatures," she said.
"With this high, we are breaking out of that pattern, so it looks like we will be in the warmer weather, at least for the rest of this week before another system develops into next weekend."
The southern half of the province will be warmer than the north.
It should stay fairly warm throughout the week in the Calgary area, Pimiskern said. But in the Edmonton area, there's a chance a cold front could sweep in on Wednesday, bringing some rain showers and gusty, northwest winds, she added. It should clear up later in the week.
Don't get too excited yet, though — this is Alberta, after all. Just because the nice weather has arrived, doesn't mean we've seen the last of the snow and cold, Pimiskern said.
"We are still in April and it's not uncommon to see a snowfall or two in May," she said. "I wouldn't say we're completely out of the woods yet, but I would say enjoy the warm weather while it's here."
Friends Matthew Kelemen and Tim Kramer took advantage of the nice weather in Calgary on Sunday. The city saw a high of 10 C, so the pair celebrated Kelemen's 30th birthday with a swim in the Bow River.
"I woke up and decided to celebrate a new trip around the sun for myself, and my buddy Tim suggested we go take a cold dip," Kelemen said. "I knew it was gonna be cold, but it's also kind of a therapy as well."
The pair only lasted in the water for about 10 seconds, which was plenty of time, Kramer said.
"You can fit a lot of time into 10 seconds when the water is cold enough," he said.
- MORE ALBERTA NEWS | The new Alberta alienation: Resenting East and West
- MORE ALBERTA NEWS | Now 95, Canadian's last Dambuster veteran honoured by portrait
With files from Anis Heydari