January warmer and drier than normal in Red Deer

Seasonal forecast suggests trend continuing

Winter. Forty-three days down, 47 more to go.

Central Alberta is approaching the mid-mark of winter, and so far, earlier forecasts that suggested a cold and snowy winter haven’t really materialized.

In fact, said Environment Canada meteorologist Kirk Torneby, January was a drier and warmer than normal for Red Deer.

The month started off with a cold spell with temperatures plunging on Jan. 5, and not warming up again until Jan. 13. Since then it’s been well above normal, he said.

Looking at January as a whole, Red Deer’s average temperature for January was -10.1 C. Normal is -11.6C, so January was on the warmer side overall — the 24th warmest January ever recorded, dating back to 1909. “So, notably warm,” he said.

Last year the average Red Deer temperature in January was -10.8, actually a little bit cooler than this year. The coldest day was Jan. 10 when it dipped to -27.4C. About a week later though the warmest temperature of the month was reached on Jan. 18 when the high was 9.7C.

As for moisture, January was a dry month. The total was right on par with last year, with 6.6 mm of water equivalent recorded for Red Deer. “It was a really dry month. It was the 15th driest January on record,” Torneby said.

Snow depth on the ground at the end of January was only four cm at the Red Deer weather station, which is located at Red Deer Airport. The 30-year normal is 14 cm, he said.

“It’s significantly below normal.” But that could all change as usually the biggest snowfalls in Alberta occur in October and November, and March and April. The coldest months don’t tend to have a lot of snow because cold air can’t hold a lot of water.

All of Alberta was really dry for most of January, said Torneby.

Looking ahead, he said this year has been tricky to forecast because there are no big drivers such as El Ninos to lead to cold or warm conditions.

Seasonal forecasts for February and March are showing a 40 to 50 per cent probability of above normal conditions for Red Deer and the rest of the southern prairies. The first day of spring is March 20.


Just Posted

WATCH: Property taxes in Red Deer will go up 2.02 per cent in 2018

City council passes a “tough” budget that maintains most service levels

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more provincial funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by FCSS

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

Red Deer’s Soundhouse closing its doors on Record Store Day

The owners of The Soundhouse want to shut down their store on… Continue reading

NorAm Western Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships begin in Red Deer

The biggest cross-country skiing competition in Red Deer’s history is underway. Nearly… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month