Warm Edmonton weather could be record-breaking

It's been a banner week for outdoor enthusiasts in Edmonton with temperatures up to 15 degrees above the seasonal norm. Environment Canada forecasters are predicting a record-breaking week ahead.

'This is like an atmospheric gift,' says senior climatologist

Susan Baerg and her 10-year-old son, Kai, took advantage of the warm weather to go for a Friday skate.

It's been a banner week for outdoor enthusiasts in Edmonton with temperatures up to 15 degrees above the seasonal norm.

Too warm for Norma Mitchell to resist strapping on her skates and hitting the Victoria Park Oval on Friday.

"We were surprised the ice was open today with the warm weather. It's just beautiful. I mean, we have a place on Vancouver Island but we like the winters here because you get this bright, bright sky and lots to do," she said.

The normal daytime high for this time of year should be -4 C. However, the mercury hit 6 C on Friday, a sort of pre-Christmas gift for Edmontonians like Susan Baerg and her 10-year-old son, Kai. 

"It's pretty phenomenal. I look back and it was maybe about 2004 the last time it was this nice right before Christmas, so it's fabulous for December," she said.

"You don't have to wear as much clothes," added Kai.
Skaters enjoy the balmy weather at the Victoria Park Oval.

After a colder and snowier November than usual, Environment Canada says a massive high-pressure area locked in over Western Canada could bring record-breaking temperatures over the coming week.

"This is like an atmospheric gift," said Environment Canada's senior climatologist, David Phillips.

These temperatures are just remarkable. In fact we may very well set records.- David Phillips, climatologist

"These temperatures are just remarkable. In fact, we may very well set records. I looked at records that go back 50 years and it's quite possible that Sunday or Monday for sure [will set records] with a temperature of plus-10," he said.

"I mean, the previous record was 8.7 for a high. Clearly we're into days where it could be very close to a record or could exceed it in the next week." 

The city has already seen about 43 centimetres of snow this season. But you'd be hard-pressed to believe that talking to the runners in Ezio Faraone Park.

Student Emily Peckham says the spring-like weather is energizing.

"Honestly, I feel like I'm killing it today and this is new for me in the past few months. I'm heading into finals here at the university, so this feels good to run it off," she said.

"It's never been this easy, so hopefully the weather keeps up."

Edmonton is warmer than Toronto right now, a trend that's expected to stick around for the next several weeks.


Alicia Asquith


Alicia Asquith is an award winning journalist based in Edmonton. She is also the host and producer of the CBC Alberta television news on weekends. She's previously worked as a reporter and video journalist in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Venezuela.