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Western warm up on the way


Matt Casey, staff writer

February 1, 2011 — Arctic air will slowly start losing its frigid grip on parts of western Canada in the days ahead.

A warming trend is on the way for parts of western Canada
A warming trend is on the way for parts of western Canada

It's another frigid start to the day in the west with some areas experiencing windchills close to the -50's. In these kinds of conditions exposed skin can freeze in minutes. But temperatures will slowly start to warm up throughout the week for many people.

Rob Davis is a meteorologist here at The Weather Network. He says that the arctic high dominating the west and ushering in frigid air is gradually pushing further south.

“The arctic high begins to move out and in its wake warmer air will push in from the west. Many places will get above zero for the first time in a while,” explains Davis.

In Winnipeg, temperatures could rise above the freezing mark on Friday. If they do, this will be the first time since last November that temperatures have been on the plus side of the thermometer.

Birds try to find warmth in the sunshine in Fort McMurray, Alberta
Birds try to find warmth in the sunshine in Fort McMurray, Alberta

The latest dip into arctic air started with a shocking temperature shift from last weekend to the beginning of this week. Many people experienced temperatures above freezing in places like Calgary last week. But the warmer air was quickly turned off. Temperature drops of around 30 °C were felt by many.

The cold was made worse for some residents of Saskatchewan on Monday morning. A 72,000 volt transmission line failed leaving over 2,000 people without electricity from 9:30am to 4:00pm in the Maple Creek and Piapot area.

Cold temperatures moved into the west in behind a major winter storm that brought up to 20 cm of snow to Calgary and southern Alberta. The same system has now merged with a Texas low and is setting up to bring a major dumping of snow for parts of Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

To stay up to date on the weather in your area, be sure to check out our Canadian cities index.

With files from Alexandra Pope and Andrea Stockton

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