Saskatchewan

Past month a top 5 knockout for coldest February recorded in Saskatchewan

If you felt like this February was a particularly brutal one, even for Saskatchewan, you’re right — Environment Canada reports it was among the coldest in the decades that records have been kept.

It was the coldest February ever recorded for La Ronge, among the coldest for other Sask. communities

Saskatchewan people are no stranger to cold weather, but this past month put them to the test as one of the coldest February months on record. (Submitted by Ashlyn George/@thelostgirlsguide)

If you felt like this February was a particularly brutal one, even for Saskatchewan, you're right — Environment Canada reports it was among the coldest in the decades that records have been kept.

Saskatoon had a monthly mean average of -24.2 C, more than nine degrees colder than normal. That made this past February the fourth coldest ever recorded in the city, in more than a century of record-keeping.

The province's other major city, Regina, didn't fare much better, with a monthly mean average of -23.5 C, twelve degrees colder than normal. Its February was the fifth coldest recorded.

It was La Ronge's coldest winter, in fact, in the 53 years since records were kept, with a monthly mean of -23.6 degrees.

That was eight degrees colder than normal.

Other Sask. communities that suffered through the unusually frosty conditions included:

  • Estevan with a monthly mean of -22.4 (second coldest winter on record)
  • Key Lake with a monthly mean of -27.5 C (third coldest winter on record)
  • Meadow Lake with a monthly mean of -25.6 (second coldest winter on record)
  • Prince Albert with a monthly mean of -24.6 (fourth coldest winter on record)
  • Swift Current with a monthly mean of -22.1 (second coldest winter on record)
The darkest blue colour indicates areas where February temperatures were at least seven degrees lower than normal. (Environment and Climate Change Canada)

The past month saw a large trough set up in our jet stream, pushing that band of fast moving air in the upper atmosphere further south. That allowed cold Arctic air to spill southward into the Prairies.

This undulation in the jet stream dominated for much of the month, allowing day after day of extremely cold weather.

Saskatchewan wasn't alone in the misery. Many parts of British Columbia, including Vancouver, recorded their coldest-ever February.

Alberta also struggled through prolonged cold snaps, with Calgary recording its fourth-coldest ever February this past month and Edmonton having its coldest winter in 40 years.   

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