It’s been a bit of a mild and overly dry winter this year.
Red Deer recorded its driest meteorological winter in 99 years between December and February, according to data from Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Meteorologist Kyle Fougere said that Red Deer had just received 9.6 millimeters of precipitation for the entire winter, with the average being 49.9mm. Fougere said that with snow, they look at the snow-water equivalent or how much water you would have if you melted down the snow.
“It was just a really warm start to winter and then when we did have that arctic air come down in the third week of January and rest over Alberta for most of February, it just didn’t have a lot of precipitation with it,” he said.
“We were just in that really cold arctic air, but we didn’t have any heavy snowfalls with it.”
Winter was a dichotomy of extremes! Dec and Jan were VERY mild then 100 new daily COLD records in Feb! Result? Warmer than average winter for many locations.
Most of AB was drier than normal! – some in the top 15 driest! #YYCwx was an outlier, being wetter than normal.#abstorm pic.twitter.com/IGllN2Bgg8
— ECCC Weather Alberta (@ECCCWeatherAB) March 2, 2021
Fougere noted that most of the province was quite dry, with Edmonton having its second driest winter in 136 years of data and Fort McMurray experiencing its fourth driest winter.
Meanwhile, Calgary experienced above-normal precipitation. The city hit 160 per cent of its normal precipitation this winter.
Although March marks the end of meteorological winter, Fougere said Red Deer can expect more cold through the month, before spring really arrives. He also noted that March is typically the second snowiest month on average for the Red Deer area.
The next week is shaping up to be warmer than normal, but cold might be on its way.
“We’ve got a low-pressure system that’s coming through the province on Sunday and will drag some cold air behind it. It will take us back to normal for this time of year,” he said.
“It’s unlikely we’re done with the winter weather. In March and in April, still should expect some cold air outbreaks and likely we’ll get some snow.”