Weather brief (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Alberta exits deep freeze over the weekend, warmer temperatures on the way

Block heaters will get a break this weekend as Alberta is expected to warm up significantly over the coming days.

Sunday could see a high of 7 C in Red Deer, with temperatures hovering around zero for most of next week. Lows between -10 C and -14 C are expected over the next five days.

“Our weekend forecast has some parts of the province more than 10 C above normal,” Environment Canada tweeted Thursday.

“A warm west wind will bring temperatures above zero almost everywhere by Sunday. Hold onto your hats though, it could get pretty windy.”

The warming is a huge contrast to most of February, where the province hit close to 100 daily minimum temperature records between Feb. 6 and 15.

Red Deer woke up to a record-breaking -43.2 C on Feb. 8, which topped the -40.6 C record set the same day in 1939.

“The cold snap had the cold arctic high-pressure system that comes down out of the arctic and came south across the prairies for 10 days or two weeks. The weather patterns are changing (and) the cold blob of air has moved into Ontario and Quebec,” said Dan Kulak, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

“The warmer air from the pacific is coming back in across the mountains so we’re getting into that milder weather.”

The next few weeks might not feature a lot of snow for Albertans, but it will be windy. Kulak said the longer-term forecast features a mixture of cold patches with some warm days mixed in.

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