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Long time since warm up in Prairies

A chance to melt
A chance to melt

Lisa Varano, staff writer

January 26, 2011 — The last time some cities in the Prairies saw temperatures above 0°C was more than 70 days ago. But that has changed this week.

Above seasonal in the Prairies on Thursday
Above seasonal in the Prairies on Thursday

Finally, a break from the cold Prairie winter. “Warm air is sliding from west to east in the Prairies this week,” says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

“The most significant increase in temperatures will be in the eastern Prairies. Regina and Winnipeg will get to near 0°C. Both these cities have been in a deep freeze since mid-November. It's been a long stretch of temperatures below 0°C -- more than 70 days.”

Warm Pacific air is replacing cold Arctic air and creating mild conditions across the west. Vancouver is ranging from 7°C to 10°C all week. And temperatures in the Prairies are climbing.

Enjoying the mild weather in Onoway, Alberta
Enjoying the mild weather in Onoway, Alberta

“Temperatures right around 0°C, or right above 0°C... that's almost unheard of at this time of year, especially in Saskatchewan and Manitoba,” says Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

“Alberta tends to get a little bit more of those trends.”

Alberta benefits from Chinook winds. Calgary reached 10°C on Wednesday for the first time since early December.

However, the warm-up will be short-lived. Temperatures will cool down late in the week as Arctic high pressure moves over the Prairies.

“In Alberta, temperatures will be back below the freezing mark by Saturday,” says Dillon. “And by Sunday, the city of Winnipeg could be back into the minus twenties.”

What does the rest of the winter have in store for the Prairies? Check out The Weather Network's mid-winter update.

With files from Lyndsay Morrison

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