Extreme cold warnings may be coming to an end, but Red Deer and parts of central Alberta should be on the alert for freezing rain.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is near. Another day or so and it looks to warm up for Christmas, but it doesn’t come without the risk of freezing rain,” said Danielle Dejardins, meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Freezing rain could reach from Red Deer to points in southeastern Alberta during the evening and overnight on Christmas Eve.
“I would just recommend stay up to date with the current weather alerts, especially coming into this holiday weekend because things are changing.”
On Tuesday, Red Deer broke its cold temperature record when it hit a bone-chilling -38.7 C. The previous record was -36.8 C set in 1990.
The 1989 record of -36.1 C still stands for Dec. 21 because it only reached a low of -33.6 C on Wednesday.
Dejardins said the extreme cold system will track eastward from Alberta to southern and central Saskatchewan before moving closer to the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border, and a low pressure system will bring warmer air from the Pacific Coast to push the cold air away.
Central Alberta will see more seasonal temperatures stick around until the end of the year, she said.
“There’s a chance for a few systems to track across the province so that will keep the warmer air over the province.”
The normal daytime high at this time of year is -5 C and the normal nighttime low is -16 C.
Red Deer will see a high of -20 C on Friday with a wind chill of -48 C in the morning and -29 C in the afternoon. The temperature at night will dip to -25 C.
On Christmas Eve there will be a mix of sun and cloud with a high of -12 C, and a low of -11 C at night.
Christmas Day should be sunny skies with a high of -8 C, and a low of -13 C.
Boxing Day will be even warmer with a high of -4 C and a low of -7 C.
Mild temperatures will continue Dec. 27 with a high of -4 C and a low of -11 C. Dec. 28 calls for a high of -7 C.