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Prairies Face the Possibility of Breaking All-Time January Heat Records

This week, the Prairies face the possibility of breaking all-time January heat records.

Typically, January temperature records in the Prairies would be associated with extreme cold and related health advisories. However, an unusual weather pattern is set to bring unseasonably high temperatures to the region this weekend.

The same weather system causing heavy rainfall in British Columbia is responsible for the warm spell over the Prairies. A significant ridge is expected to form over central Canada, bringing mild Pacific air and contributing to higher temperatures, from Winnipeg to Edmonton and extending to the northern territories.

Temperatures could exceed the usual seasonal averages by up to 18 degrees in many areas, particularly in the northern Prairies and territories. Yellowknife might approach its all-time January high of 3.4°C, set on January 3, 1985.

Monday will be unusually warm, but Tuesday is anticipated to be even warmer due to downsloping winds from the Rockies. These winds will intensify and heat up as they descend, potentially causing gusts up to 100 km/h in Alberta’s foothills and around 50 km/h in Saskatchewan.

Alberta will experience higher temperatures on Tuesday, with Calgary expecting a pleasant 8°C and Edmonton possibly reaching a remarkable 10°C.

Edmonton might witness a record-breaking 11°C on Tuesday, surpassing the previous record of 9.9°C at Edmonton International Airport in Leduc from January 25, 2006. The city’s historical high was 13.9°C on January 27, 1889.

Southern Saskatchewan could see some of the week’s highest temperatures on Tuesday, potentially reaching the upper teens, about 25 degrees above the seasonal norm.

Swift Current is forecast to possibly break its January temperature record, which has stood since January 19, 1900, when it reached 15°C.

The beginning of February is likely to bring a more active weather pattern across the Prairies.

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