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Balmy December weather prompts city to open 2 golf courses

With a high of 16 C forecast for Calgary on Dec. 5, the city opened two public golf courses.  (Helen Pike/CBC - image credit)
With a high of 16 C forecast for Calgary on Dec. 5, the city opened two public golf courses. (Helen Pike/CBC - image credit)

With Calgary set to see temperatures Tuesday that feel more like September than December, the city is playing along by opening two public golf courses for the day.

The course at Maple Ridge in the southeast has 18 holes available for $25, and Shaganappi Point in the southwest is opening two nine-hole options for $15.

Environment and Climate Change Canada says Calgary could see a high temperature of 16 C on Tuesday.

Alysa Pederson, an Alberta-based warning preparedness meteorologist with the agency, says a chinook pattern — plus the still-intensifying effect of the El Niño global weather pattern — are what's to thank for the warm December weather.

"It's the warmest place in the country today," she said.

"Most other places, even the West Coast where you'd expect maybe a little bit warmer, are sitting around 10."

The chinook conditions have prompted an Environment Canada wind warning for much of southwestern Alberta, including Milk River, Lethbridge, Pincher Creek, Claresholm, Cardston and Fort Macleod.

Maximum gusts near 90 km/h are possible, the agency said.

Three happy dogs enjoy a romp in the park in Calgary on Dec. 5 as temperatures rose to the double digits.
Three happy dogs enjoy a romp in the park in Calgary on Dec. 5 as temperatures rose to the double digits.

Three happy dogs enjoy a romp in the park on Tuesday as temperatures rose to double digits in Calgary. (Helen Pike/CBC)

Calgary's unseasonably warm fall has allowed city crews to make "amazing" progress on filling potholes, the city said in a release.

Nearly 5,000 potholes were filled in November — a record number for the month.

"While we continue monitoring the weather for the next big snowfall, our crews have taken advantage of milder weather to focus on duties that may not be easy to complete when the thermometer drops in the winter months," the city said.

This year has been one of the most productive years ever for pothole repairs. More than 31,000 potholes have been repaired since the beginning of the year through the end of November, the city said.

But Calgary's extended reprieve from winter weather could quickly come to an end, Pederson said.

"We're expecting the temperatures to drop by tomorrow and then snow is expected for Thursday," she said.

"Right now, it's a little bit of a toss up whether it's going to be more affecting the areas through Calgary or just to the north of Calgary. But we're expecting a low pressure system to develop tomorrow afternoon and then to give some rain, some snow through parts of central Alberta, generally south of Edmonton."