So far this month, west central Saskatchewan has seen a little bit of everything when it comes to the weather. From temperatures swinging more than 30 degrees in a day to snowfall to freezing rain. Add in the high winds that have been frequent this month, and you could say January has been a bit of a dog’s breakfast as of late.
Terri Lang is a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada. She explained that the weather patterns we are experiencing are all due to shifts in the jet stream, which is passing northwest to southeast through the province. As it moves, so does the mercury (and barometer, and wind gauge).
“We get on the right side of it, we’ll get milder; as we get on the other side of it we’ll get colder, so it's just the way the jet stream is sitting right now,” Lang said.
Some of these fluctuations in temperature have seen an overnight low of -32° swing to a daytime high of -2°. There have also been days where an overnight high of +1° has dipped close to the criteria for an extreme cold warning by morning.
While the swings in weather can cause issues with how people dress for the day, needing extra layers in the morning, and considerably less by the afternoon, it also has an impact on the commute for many people, especially in light of the precipitation we have also seen so far this month.
“It plays havoc with the roads a little bit,” Lang added. “As the temperatures get close to that freezing mark we could see some melting, so it’s something to keep in mind in those mornings as you’re driving on those highways.”
While the temperatures seem to have been either well above seasonal or well below seasonal for much of the month, surprisingly, the average daytime high so far has been right in line with the 30-year average: -9°. However, this is due to the extreme highs and extreme lows being so varied.
So when will we see temperatures return towards seasonal? Environment and Climate Change Canada forecast calls for the daytime highs to be close to the -9° by the end of the week, and even warmer after that.