Edmonton's no-snow November won't last, meteorologist says

·2 min read
A November without snow in Edmonton is a rare affair but the unseasonably mild weather is fleeting. (John Robertson/CBC - image credit)
A November without snow in Edmonton is a rare affair but the unseasonably mild weather is fleeting. (John Robertson/CBC - image credit)

If you hate snow, take heed.

Storm season is set to arrive with a big wallop of the white stuff.

A November without snow in Edmonton is a rare affair but the unseasonably mild weather is fleeting, says Environment Canada meteorologist Kyle Fougère.

"It does look like we're going to see an end to this drought for snow in central Alberta next week," Fougère said.

Edmonton has so far enjoyed a snow-free season well into November — something that only happens, on average, every three or four years, Fougère said.

According to historical data, Edmonton's first snowfall most often arrives in October, Fougère said.

Only five per cent of the time does Edmonton wait until December before getting any serious flakes.

While southern and northern Alberta, the Rockies and the foothills, have all seen their first snowfall of the season, Edmonton was spared due to a stubborn, whirling mass of cool, dry air.

Temperatures have also been warmer than usual, leaving the city in a decidedly autumnal weather pattern much longer than usual.

"We've had a ridge of high pressure that kind of prevents the low pressure systems coming through the province that would typically bring snow," Fougere said.

Edmonton can expect its first winter storm in the coming days, Fougère said.

Several large weather systems are set to hit the Prairies with a hefty dump of snow and Edmonton will be no exception.

"The central parts of the province, like in the Edmonton area, we haven't really seen that so far just because the systems have just been missing us," he said. "But it does look like we're seeing a change in the weather pattern now.

"The jet stream is kind of moving over the Alberta area. That's likely to bring some wind and snow to a pretty big swath of Alberta."

A snowflake icon makes its first appearance on the forecast next week.

According to the latest forecast from Environment Canada, flurries are expected Tuesday.

Winter 'signals'

November is expected to remain slightly milder than average, Fougère said. The long term forecast is unclear.

It's unclear what will be the impact of La Niña, cooler than normal sea-surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, he said.

"If you have a strong La Niña, it can really impact where the jet stream sets up," he said." And that can impact how the whole season shapes up for us here in Edmonton.

"It's something we're closely monitoring and could definitely impact us but right now, there's not a really strong signal one way or another. We'll have to wait and see."

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