White Christmas in the forecast for Calgary, Environment Canada says
Arctic air mass ushers in below-normal temperatures with snow in the forecast
If you've been dreaming of a white Christmas in Calgary this year, you're probably in luck.
After a mild November and normal start to December, an Arctic air mass has settled over Alberta, says Kyle Fougere, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.
It has ushered in below-normal temperatures in Alberta — and a likelihood that the snow forecast to fall before Christmas Day won't soon disappear, he said.
"I believe everyone [in Alberta] has snow now, and with that Arctic air here, it's unlikely that it's going to melt," Fougere said.
"Every couple of days now, there's a decent chance of some flurries, so it does look like we're going to keep building — and so, it should look pretty nice on Christmas."
Snowy Christmases the norm, meteorologist says
It's in keeping with the norm, according to Fougere.
Between 1998 and 2019, Calgary has had white Christmases 64 per cent of the time, he said.
"It is somewhat rare to not have snow on the ground for Christmas," Fougere said.
At the moment, Calgary has between three and nine centimetres of snow on the ground, and a system is set to move through the province that has a good chance of bringing more on Thursday, Saturday and next Wednesday.
"It's likely that we're going to build on that base of snow … as we move toward next week and Christmas Day," Fougere said.
And once Christmas has come and gone, don't expect it to warm up.
The warmest temperature Calgarians should expect this week is a high of –8 C on Saturday, and Fougere says the daily highs are expected to be well below normal for the rest of December.
"Once this Arctic air mass settles over the province … it's very difficult to displace," he said.
"We're expecting, for the rest of the month, to have temperatures that are going to be well below normal in the Calgary area."