Saskatchewan

'Volatile' Sask. spring brings record lows as cold as –39 C

Biting cold is bearing down on most of Saskatchewan this holiday weekend and an Environment Canada meteorologist says not to expect any reprieve until after the first week of April.

Frigid cold expected to continue throughout 1st week of April

Temperatures have dipped more than 10 degrees lower than normal in many parts of Saskatchewan. (Reuters)

Biting cold is bearing down on most of Saskatchewan this holiday weekend and an Environment Canada meteorologist says not to expect any reprieve until after the first week of April.

She said temperatures across most of Saskatchewan are between about 10 and 15 degrees below normal for this time of year.

The northern community of Key Lake experienced a record-setting minimum of –39 C on March 29. The previous record was set in 1977, when the minimum temperature was 26.7.

Unpredictable season

"It looks like the start of a rebound into more seasonable temperatures won't happen until about April 9th or so, give or take a day," said Prysizney.

Record-setting weather was also making news in Saskatchewan early last April, but for very different reasons.

On April 7 last year, Saskatoon, Kindersley and Elbow all experienced record-breaking highs of between 20 and 21.7 C.

Prysizney said spring weather was known to be "volatile," with the possibility of extreme differences in temperature and conditions.

"Temperatures this far below normal aren't quite as common but in the springtime anything goes," she said.  

The cold temperatures are being created by an Arctic vortex sitting over the central Arctic, said Prysizney, coupled with a system over B.C. A north-westerly flow from that system is bringing the cold air south into the Prairies.

Snowfall warnings

That cold air, combined with moisture streaming in from the Pacific Ocean, is also creating significant snowfall in Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan, said Prysizney.

Special weather statements have been issued for a number of regions in southern Saskatchewan, with between 5 and 10 centimetres of snow expected in some areas.  

For up-to-date information visit the Environment Canada website.