Mild weather will help Red Deerians ease into 2020.
“The new decade looks nice so far,” said meteorologist Alysa Pederson with Environment and Climate Change Canada.
“It looks to be a pretty mild start to January. Into the coming week, it’s looking like you’ll be around zero right through the rest of the week and into next week.”
The high is expected to fluctuate between 0 and -4 in the first six days of January, while the low jumps around from -1 C to -14 C.
The average high for the coming week is -7 C and the average low is -19 C.
New Year’s Eve should be mild with a 30 per cent chance of snow and a low of -3 C. Overnight the temperature will drop to -7 C with the windchill.
On the Jan. 1, a high of 1 C is forecast during the day, with a 60 per cent chance of flurries, and a low of -5 C at night.
Pederson said based on the seasonal forecast issued in late November, winter should be better than normal.
“There’s pretty good confidence we’re more likely to be above normal for the next couple of months. We’ve been normal now for December. For January and February, we’re still looking at possibly above normal.”
In December, the monthly mean temperature was -9.4 C and the normal is -10 C. Precipitation was also near normal at 14.6 mm. The average is 12.3 mm.
Pederson said the mild weather can be attributed to the weather patterns set up over the western Pacific.
“There’s a ridge of warm air sitting over B.C. as the big pattern that is dominate. When it ebbs and flows, that’s when we get snow moving through Alberta with brief colder temperatures.”
Lisa Tough, Learn to Ski co-ordinator with Red Deer Nordic Cross Country Ski Club, said now is a great time to learn how to ski in Red Deer.
“The warmer weather is definitely nicer for fingers and toes. This is such a good time to learn,” Tough said.
“The trails are quite beautiful and people have been out enjoying River Bend and Heritage Ranch.”
She said there are skiers from Calgary who come to Red Deer. They love our trails just as much as those in Canmore, but Red Deer trails aren’t as busy.
Tough said River Bend has trails for every level of skier and the club will soon start up its January lessons for children to adults.
Dave Martel, general manager at Canyon Ski Resort, said the ski hill has also been busy with the recent mild weather.
“Where we start to see our numbers drop is at that -15 to -20 C mark, so this whole Christmas season has been good for attendance,” Martel said.