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Patio weather in the Prairies?

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Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Sunday, March 9, 2014, 9:13 PM -

We're coming up on mid-March, but for the past couple of days, not only have the Prairie provinces been nicely above-seasonal, they've also had arguably the warmest air in the country.

Alberta in particular has had the lion's share of the heat, not only in real terms but when compared to just one week ago.

"Ambient temperatures dipped to nearly -40°C, with wind chills into the -50s," explained Weather Network Meteorologist Gina Ressler.

"This weekend, a ridge in the jet stream has allowed warmer Pacific air to flood across the west. In addition, a Pineapple Express pattern in BC has resulted in warm Chinook winds in southern Alberta, where temperatures have climbed into the double digits."

Maybe not quite patio weather, but still toasty. 

In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, temperatures were lower in general, but still a big contrast to where the mercury was a week prior.

"Long-range models hint that the mild air could stick around for the next week or two, but that doesn't mean winter is over. In fact, according to climatology, March is Calgary's snowiest month," added Ressler. "For most places in the Prairies, accumulating snow is possible right through to early May."

Meanwhile, to the north, travellers were being told to watch out on Sunday.

Freezing rain warnings were in effect for parts of Northern Alberta early Sunday morning, as a band of freezing rain risk stretched well east into Saskatchewan, north of Regina.

The dicey conditions came courtesy of a clipper system that would also bring snow in more northerly areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan, stretching down into central Manitoba Sunday evening.

Environment Canada had also issued wind warnings for southwestern Alberta, warning of potentially 100 km/h gusts in the southern foothills.


WHAT WILL SPRING BE LIKE? See what the coming season has in store for Alberta here, and the Canada-wide outlook here.


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