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Prairies bask in record warmth

It was a green Christmas in Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan
It was a green Christmas in Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan

Staff writers

December 26, 2011 — Saturday was the warmest Christmas Eve on record for parts of the Prairies. The unseasonably mild weather continued through Boxing Day.

Snowless in Saskatoon
Snowless in Saskatoon

While much of the country was hoping for a White Christmas, people in the Prairies were enjoying a rare green Christmas.

Temperatures rose into the single digits in Alberta and Saskatchewan Christmas Eve.= For parts of Saskatchewan, including Regina, Saskatoon and Kindersley, it was the warmest Christmas Eve on record.

Saskatoon was also one of the warmest spots in the Prairies, reaching a high of 7C. In Alberta, Calgarians enjoyed a high of 6C.

The mild weather continued for Christmas Day. Lethbridge, Alberta, was the warmest spot in the country, hitting a high of 12.5C. There was a more than 50-degree difference between Lethbridge and the coldest spot in the country, which was Thompson River, NWT at -39C.

Other communities that saw same-day warm temperature records included Vegreville, AB at 8.2C and Elbow, SK at 6.5C.

The mild weather was the result of a strong surface low that allowed warm air to flow up from Nevada and Colorado, explained Amanda De Monte, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

But it won't last -- The low is swinging through northern Ontario now and a cold front on the back end of that system will start to bring a cooldown to the Prairies, she said.

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