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Cold but White Christmas for Grande Prairie

This Christmas will likely be one of the coldest ones on record. Environment Canada Senior Climatologist David Phillips says we’re looking at a high of only minus 21 on December 25th, when it’s normally around minus 8.

“It’ll take a little bit of a challenge to deal with that and get the car started. By that time you’ll have been used to it because you’ve had a couple days where it’s minus 11, minus 13, minus 17, and then of course it’s only a one day wonder; it warms up by more than seven degrees the following day, so it will feel tropical on Boxing Day!”

The coldest max temperature on Christmas Day was minus 30 in 1971. Grande Prairie will also be one of the few places in Canada with a White Christmas. There’s about 8 centimetres right now, with more white stuff in the forecast over the next couple days. However, with no snow expected Friday, Phillips adds the weather should be good for travel.

“Yes, we see some flurry activity on Christmas Eve, but nothing on Christmas Day; we just see cloud and cold – you’ll be able to hear the crunch of the snow as you walk on it – but certainly all those unwanted house guests will be able to leave on time and won’t be storm-stayed.”

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Unfortunately, that also means we won’t have a “perfect” Christmas, with snow the day of. Environment Canada says around 85 per cent of the country will get snow on December 25th, but most of Canada’s biggest cities won’t. Parts of Ontario and Quebec are expected to get some of the warmest temperatures ever recorded on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

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