Most of Alberta enjoys break from bitter cold — but it won't last

·2 min read
A line formed at the Edmonton Ski Club on Sunday as the city's weather gave a temporary reprieve from the holiday season's deep freeze. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC - image credit)
A line formed at the Edmonton Ski Club on Sunday as the city's weather gave a temporary reprieve from the holiday season's deep freeze. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC - image credit)

Northern parts of Alberta were under an extreme cold warning on Sunday but the rest of the province enjoyed a day of reprieve from the bitter cold.

Calgary's temperature was sitting around 1 C on Sunday afternoon while Edmonton hovered at –15 C. Albertans shouldn't get too comfortable, though — the Arctic temperatures are set to return soon.

"It's two rounds of cold with an intermission [Sunday] of some warm Pacific air or mild Pacific air," said David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

"It certainly feels like a tropical breeze compared to what [we've] had over the past week."

Phillips said the Arctic blast is set to return this week. On Monday, Environment Canada predicts a steady temperature around –22 C in Edmonton while Calgary is predicted to dip to –24 C by the afternoon.

"You could sleep through this warmth," Phillips said. "I think you should get out there and enjoy it and recharge the batteries so you're ready for the next onslaught of cold, which is coming now."

Enjoying the outdoors

Some Edmontonians gladly followed that advice Sunday.

"Today's been the busiest day of the entire year," said Brendan Groff, a ski patrol supervisor at Edmonton Ski Club.

Staff were happy to see the brief window of warmer weather — the deep freeze definitely slowed things down at the winter sports space, he said.

"It's the greatest day after this cold snap to get out and ski with the girls and just be outside," said David Kitchingman. He said he and his family try to make the most of the warmer winter days.

"We've been watching this [day] for about a week now, planning on making sure we got outside today," he said. "We were definitely ready to get some outside fun in."

Evan Kimber was ice climbing Sunday. He said he had a bit of time off and wanted to take advantage.

"When it's colder than –20 C, it's a little hard on the hands," he said of climbing in the cold. "It would have been nicer to get out here earlier but I'm taking advantage of what we got for right now."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting