Though only a light dusting of snow fell days before Santa arrives, the cold weather accompanying it means a (sort of) white Christmas for Red Deer.
There was about an inch of fresh snow that fell around Central Alberta Tuesday night to Wednesday morning. Just enough to cover most of the ground and force people to shovel their driveways and sidewalks.
Were it not for the recent snowfall, and small amounts in the immediate forecast, according to Environment Canada it would have been a pretty green Christmas.
December was unseasonably warm, with temperatures reaching 10.2 and 10.7 C on Dec. 10 and 12 respectively. That 10.7 C high was the warmest Red Deer had been on Dec. 10 since 1907, when records kept by Environment Canada begin for the area.
Up until the start of the cold snap, December on average had a daily high of 4.1 C and a low of -8.3 C. That’s significantly above the 20-year average for December of -3.2 C as a high and -13.8 C as a low.
On the whole, the daily mean temperature was four degrees warmer than average this year at -4.1 C compared to -8.5 C.
With more snow anticipated Thursday, enough snow could accumulate to cover up some of the grass that had been visible for the better part of November and December.
And the subsequent cooler temperatures forecast all the way to Boxing Day show a trend towards keeping the white stuff on the ground.
With highs well below zero between now and Dec. 26, what little snow there is will likely remain. Temperatures range from a high of -6 C on Saturday to -15 C on Tuesday.
Up until a recently, Red Deer had only trace amounts of snow accumulation on the ground, according to Environment Canada. A far cry from 2013, when there was 50 cms of snow accumulated on the ground in Red Deer.
In the long range, the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a warmer start to 2018 with temperatures above seasonal averages in January, February and March.