The unseasonably warm weather we’re seeing isn’t out of the norm but won’t be lasting long, according to a meteorologist. A high of 5 C is expected today but temperatures are expected to drop by the end of the week.
Sara Hoffman from Environment Canada says the unusually high temperatures are coming from a ridge of warm air blowing into Alberta from the Pacific.
She adds that while it’s offering relief from the cold, seasonal temperatures and flurries are expected this weekend.
“Temperatures will be very close to seasonal, so it’s not like we’ll be expecting that big drop we just had a few days ago,” says Hoffman.
New Year’s Eve saw a low of -26 C, with a wind chill of -31. This is a stark contrast to the high of 0 C seen on New Year’s Day.
While this high of five degrees is relatively uncommon, Hoffman says that it’s very normal for this time of year.
“Just about every winter, especially Alberta, sees these sort of westerly warm-ups at some point. We’ve been really lucky to have a few this year in Alberta.”
Hoffman says that there’s plenty of data to show that this type of warmth is common for January in Lloydminster.
While she says that exposed snow and ice will experience melt in the sun, Hoffman says it’s unclear what this warm spell will do to lake ice.
“Every locality has its own sort of quirks. Deeper water bodies will be able to regulate temperature better, so perhaps deeper lakes would have different ice effects than shallow ones. Areas that are really shaded might have less snowmelt than ones that are exposed, so it’s really tough to say what the exact impacts will be.”
Hoffman adds that it’s tough to say when we’ll see more warm temperatures like this again in 2019. Lloydminster’s record high for this time of year was 5.5 C in 2007.