The mild winter we’ve seen so far in Saskatchewan is likely to stick around until the January in light of El Nino according to meteorologist David Phillips.
“We can get nasty weather but what we’ve seen in November, when you compare it to last year, it’s been almost seven-degrees warmer than last year and clearly with less snow,” Phillips said on the Brent Loucks Show Tuesday.
“Already we know this winter has not been as difficult as last winter and this is the opening act.”
Despite 10 to 12 centimetres of snow last week, the forecast has temperatures reaching highs above zero, a sign of the winter Phillips said the province is in for.
“This week is almost a dress-rehearsal for what this winter is going to be like with milder-than-normal temperatures and dryer-than-normal conditions,” Phillips said, adding this time last year we were already under a deep-freeze. “Last year we saw a -39 C windchill in Saskatoon compared to a three-degree warmer-than-normal temperature expected this week.”
And with warmer temperatures likely melting much of the snow, Phillips said historically Saskatoon has had white Christmases, and 2015 won’t be different.
“The past is a guide to the future and despite mild winters in the past … there’s an 80 to 90 per cent chance of a white Christmas across Saskatchewan,” he said.
Tuesday’s high is expected to reach –3 C with Wednesday looking at a high of -1 C. Environment Canada expects Saskatoon to see above-zero temperatures Friday, Saturday and Sunday.