After two months of typical winter weather, an unusual warm spike turned Red Deer in February into a veritable tropical paradise.
Those worried about an early melt need not be concerned, as March and April are some of the wettest months.
Dan Kulak, Environment Canada climatologist, said Calgary had its second warmest recorded February this year, but couldn’t provide where the month ranked for Red Deer.
But, he noted it was a full 3.9 degrees warmer than is seasonable.
“The highest temperature recorded in February was 8.4 C on Feb. 5,” said Kulak. “Of all days, it was very early on in the month. “This is pretty wide ranging. Calgary had a monthly temperate of 1.4 C.”
In February, the average temperature was -5.2 C while the normal for the month is -9.1 C.
Kulak said the standard deviation, a measure used to quantify variation from the mean, was one full point.
According to Environment Canada December, January and February are considered the winter months. In December, the average recorded temperature, from nighttime lows to daytime highs, was -10.4 C and the normal is -10 C. This was followed by an average temperature in January of -10.9 C with a normal of -11.6 C.
“I’m actually surprised December was so cold,” said Kulak.
Kulak said Environment Canada is predicting the warm weather will continue, with above normal temperatures over the next three months.
Alberta’s soil moisture maps, available at www.agriculture.alberta.ca, show very little precipitation has fallen over the past month. However, there is still some measured soil moisture in rural Central Alberta.
Environment Canada is predicting slightly above normal precipitation between March and May.
“March is one of the more popular months for snow, February is one of the drier months,” said Kulak. “It’s getting back into that transition time of the year and when it gets into April we’ll get dumps of snow overnight, that’s spring in Alberta.”
According to Environment Canada, the average snowfall in Feberuary is 12.9 cms and 20.4 cms in March.