This may be the mildest Saskatchewan winter most people can remember, but for those who aren’t used to the frigid prairie wind this weather might still feel cold.
Walking outside the Newcomer Welcome Centre and down the street to the Regina Open Door Society, people are bundled up for winter. Even for those with limited English, when you ask about the weather many smile and say “very cold”.
Amad Othman arrived in Canada about five months ago from Iraq.
“Winter in Canada is good,” he said, explaining that the weather this year is not that different than the region where he comes from.
“I like the Canada winter, I go ice fishing and it’s nice,” he said.
Othman still believes this weather is cold and says -30 C would be much too cold.
Sukhdeep Brar understands what it’s like to be shocked by the cold weather because he moved here from India two years ago.
“It’s very good,” he said. “The last winter was very, like, colder.”
He tells other newcomers not to expect weather like this every winter in Canada.
“This is a very good winter, they best enjoy it,” Sukhdeep said.
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The weather this year is even baffling to experts like senior Environment Canada climatologist David Phillips.
“I’ve shaken my head over three days of rain in Regina in February,” he said. “This is not Halifax, this should be blowing snow.”
Phillips says the weather through the months of December, January, and February in Saskatchewan is on track to be one of the warmest winters in history.
“This would come out to be in Regina, maybe the third warmest winter in all those years, and in Saskatoon maybe the fifth warmest,” he explained.
People in Regina have only had one day when the temperature dropped below -30 C this winter, normally we would get 11 days.
Phillips says the lack of snow can be either a good or bad thing, depending on who you ask.
“I think farmers would like to see a little bit more precipitation, but maybe that rain they got in September and October that they were cursing, they’re now blessing,” he said
Phillips expects El Nino to continue to dominate with warm weather in western Canada but warns that the cold days are not over yet.