Warm trend expected to continue

Temperatures in March were above average for Red Deer and area. According to Environment Canada, Central Albertans can expect to see this warmer trend continue well into the spring season.

Temperatures in March were above average for Red Deer and area. According to Environment Canada, Central Albertans can expect to see this warmer trend continue well into the spring season.

The normal day temperature in Red Deer for March is usually about -4.1C, said Greg Pearce, meteorologist with Environment Canada. This March, it was -2.1C.

Average highs for March collected from past data hover around -1.9C with lows at -10.1C. Normally, Red Deer sees about 18 cm of snow with one to two mm of rain in March, said Pearce.

March 2012 had an average high of 3.7C and an average low around -7.9C.

There was not a drop of rain and 40.6 cm of snow fell, most of which fell within a three-day period from March 4 to 6 — 17.8 cm of snow alone fell on March 5.

“It was a different March,” said Pearce. “And we speculate it will be a warmer spring, too. But, as with many long range forecasts, we have to take that with a grain of salt.”

Similarly, the runoff forecast for the Red Deer basin area, based on data collected up to March 1, ranges from average to below average, said Carrie Sancartier, a public affairs officer for Alberta Environment.

For farmers, it’s still too cold to start seeding yet, said Harry Brook, a crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture’s Ag Info Centre in Stettler.

“Though I expect seeding could be begin as soon as the third week of April if things continue they way they are,” he said. “Depending on the temperature again ­— the soil needs to be 5C.”

The winter was drier than it should have been, said Brook, but the snow Red Deer received last month will help with the soil moisture that is key for germination and especially getting the foliage started.

The warmer March weather has River Bend Golf and Recreation Area already gearing up to kick off tee times.

“The driving range will be open this Saturday,” said Andrew Gilchrist, River Bend’s general manager.

The course itself could be open in as soon as 10 days, depending on the night temperatures, he added.

“We can’t take the tarp off our greens if the temp goes below -5C or it will damage them,” he said. “So right now it’s still too cold.”

Sunny skies are keeping staff at Red Deer’s Toad ’n’ Turtle Pubhouse and Grill busy, too.

The restaurant’s downstairs patio is being cleaned off and will be open to the public later this week — heat lamps included, of course, said Rochelle Meikle, general manager. The upstairs patio at the Toad ’n’ Turtle will be officially open June 1.

Environment Canada is calling for a mix of cloud, sun, rain and maybe even a bit of snow later this week. Tuesday’s high is expect to reach 12C, followed by periods of rain on Wednesday. Thursday has a 60 per cent chance of flurries.


Just Posted

Red Deer record store celebrates its last Record Store Day

The Soundhouse, a guitar and record shop in downtown Red Deer, closes its doors next Saturday

WATCH: On 4—20 Day in Red Deer, marijuana users say legal weed a long time coming

Not wanting to wait for the federal government to legalize recreational marijuana,… Continue reading

Former Central Alberta MLA appealing fine for not protecting a list of 20,000 electors

List included names and addresses of voters in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre

Proposed Alberta legislation would protect consumers

Alberta Utilities Commission would be given power to penalize natural gas and electricity providers

Red Deer beginning two major construction projects

Ross Street’s 1935-era water main to be replaced and 67th Street roundabout landscaped

WATCH: Central Alberta bouldering competition

Central Alberta climbers looked to prove they’re the best at a competition… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer RCMP and Emergency Services play for Humboldt

Red Deer police officers and firefighters laced up their skates to raise… Continue reading

WATCH: Flooding closes portion of Red Deer’s 43 Street

A portion of 43 Street in Red Deer was closed Saturday morning… Continue reading

After air accidents, survivors grapple with flying again

Hundreds of hands grappling with oxygen masks. Flight attendants warning passengers to… Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth to attend pop concert for 92nd birthday

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth is marking her 92nd birthday with a Saturday… Continue reading

‘Such a great person:’ Funeral being held for assistant coach with Broncos

STRASBOURG, Sask. — Mark Cross was a ferocious competitor when he played… Continue reading

UPDATE: Missing Innisfail woman located

A 54-year-old Innisfail woman, who had not been seen since Wednesday, has… Continue reading

Hellebuyck makes 30 saves, Jets beat Wild in Game 5 to advance to Round 2

WINNIPEG — Bryan Little’s teammates were happy they could deliver something special… 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