While Airdronians can enjoy fairly mild weather over the next week, taking a respite from the frigid temperatures from several weeks ago, the balmy January weather isn't slated to last much longer.
According to Brian Proctor, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, while the slightly above seasonal average temperatures in Southern Alberta may feel summer-like especially if one were to compare them to the bitterly cold blast of winter Airdrie and the surrounding areas dealt with in late December, he underlined that as January will turn into February, much cooler weather, more indicative of winter temperatures is on its way. While he said that there will more than likely be several more cold snaps ahead in the region, it is unlikely those cold snaps will dip down to the temperatures that were felt at the end of 2022.
"I would expect us to go below seasonal temperatures; more precipitation and more wind," Proctor said.
For those hoping the Groundhog Day may offer a hint of when winter will end, Proctor said that regardless of what the furry critter may see or not see next month, seeing that it is Alberta, Albertans and Airdronians should be prepared for six more weeks of winter.
When asked whether the fog contributed to poor road conditions over the past several weeks was abnormal, he said that while the fog isn't typical, it is not exactly a weather anomaly.
"When we switch from these very cold temperatures [that] we saw before Christmas to the warming up as we saw over the Christmas period, what happens is that a loft is happening in the atmosphere; putting a lid or a cap on the surface layer of the atmosphere bounded by the land surface," he said. "We tend to lock in moisture and lock in low cloud and that tends to lead to fog formation and icy road conditions."
Proctor added that during those foggy periods, there wasn't much wind, which is slightly unusual for Southern Alberta. This lack of wind meant that much more fog stayed in place.
And for those pining for winter to be a thing of the past, like in 2022, summer temperatures for the time being do not look to be scorching.
"We haven't seen anything in our seasonal models that suggest is going to be that way yet. Our seasonal forecast right now is suggesting a weak La Niña, and La Niña's tend to be a little bit cooler. Hopefully, that will wane fairly quickly and we'll get a nice normal summer."
The average seasonal high in Airdrie this year is projected at -2.8°C, with average lows at -15.1°C.
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