Warm weather is finally here in West Central.
Temperatures are forecasted to hit a high of -2 C today and will stay in the positives heading into both Saturday and Sunday.
Terri Lang, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, attributed the shift from frigid to fun-in-the-sun to something you don't often feel in the prairies; the Pacific Ocean.
"We're going to see a big impulse coming off the Pacific Ocean, pushing the jet stream further to the north," shared Lang. "Putting the southwest part of the province into the milder air once again. It does signal the end of this particular cold snap."
While these switches between springtime and winter weather patterns might feel strange, they are not too uncommon. On record, the highs for this time of year are a little further up the thermometer, while the lows are further down. This pattern of middling temperatures even has a name.
"It's a well-known phenomenon, called the 'January Thaw' or the 'Bonspiel Thaw', and usually the 3rd or 4th week of January. We kind of get this big warm-up ahead of this system and then we get a big cool down in. And behind and for some reason it happens every year, right around the same time."
The last blast of cold air came from an air current that originated in Siberia. It had migrated across the arctic and the sea before descending on North America with its chilly grip.
Folks can expect to see a good deal of thawing take place as this new warm front moves in. Melting roads during the day will almost certainly lead to very slippery conditions at night as the air cools off, refreezing surfaces.
Drivers are reminded to use caution even during the day, as the early hours will be the worst time for slippage. The night's ice combined with the first bits of water as it heats up outside will leave untreated roads and sidewalks very slick.
"A lot of people don't have an emergency kit in their car, and they're not dressed properly when the weather is this cold, and it was something were to happen on the roads like your car broke down, or that type of thing you would want those clothes in the car, and you would. Want an emergency kit in the car so? Just that there's. No safety reminders. "
While it will be nice to warm up and thaw out for the weekend, folks will do well to remember the winter isn't over yet. Be sure to keep the car stocked with mittens and a jacket in the event a vehicle breaks down or becomes stranded at night. Once things cool off from the daytime highs, a spare jacket can be of great comfort while waiting for help in the cold.