Mild winter for Edmonton, Calgary to continue, meteorologist says

If there was ever a weather edition of the Battle of Alberta, Calgary would beat Edmonton hands down, every time.

‘It should be an earlier spring than normal’

Edmonton has experienced a mild winter so far, with daily temperatures 2.5 degrees warmer than average. (Rick Bremness/CBC)

If there was ever a weather edition of the Battle of Alberta, Calgary would almost always beat Edmonton. This year is no exception. 

Even though Edmonton is seeing a mild winter at the moment with temperatures sitting 2.5 C  warmer than average, it's no comparison to what's going on in the southern part of the province.

Except for a few stretches of cold weather and some snow back in October, Calgary has had virtually no precipitation, and very mild temperatures.

Warm air flooding Alberta

The reason for that is storm systems that have been pounding the B.C. coast, pushing warm air and high winds into much of Alberta.

"On Highway 22, sort of southwest of Calgary, we've had reports of 181 km/h wind gusts at times that have blown signs over, " said Brian Proctor, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

"I think the real problem they're going to be seeing is if we don't see an increase in the snow pack over the next little while there could be a real problem with grass fires as we start moving into the spring season," Proctor said.

In the Edmonton region, an early dump of snow last September had people scrambling for their winter gear and shovels before the patio cushions were even put away.

'Above normal temperatures'

But the low temperatures were short lived. Precipitation hasn't been a problem in Edmonton thanks to several heavy snowfalls, but the lack of arctic air means our daytime temperature hasn't been all that bad.

"Our seasonal forecast models are indicating sort of above normal temperatures at this point in time moving forward," added Proctor. "It's hinting that the way the conditions are developing that it should be an earlier spring than normal but again as I said there's probably going to be a couple of decent outbreaks of arctic air in the meantime."

A chilly reminder of winter begins Wednesday as the temperature is forecast to drop below -20 C. With the windchill that could feel like -29 C.


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