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Grande Prairie in for cold snap after unseasonably warm December

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After a warmer than usual December, Grande Prairie is looking to welcome a couple of weeks of rather icy weather to ring in the new year.

While temperatures were sitting around five degrees warmer than the seasonal average of minus 10 for the last couple of weeks of December, Environment Canada Meteorologist Alysa Pederson says an Arctic air mass will soon make its way into the region, and with it, the temperatures are expected to plummet after Tuesday.

“Bringing some snow and dropping the highs to close to minus 15, and below minus 20 starting late next week is what it is looking like,” she says. “The further we get into January, those normals are dropping a little bit because we are getting into the coldest month of the year, which most argue would be February.”

Pederson says since first establishing the long-range seasonal forecast in November, the long-range trend has turned what she calls “pessimistic”. However, she suggests there isn’t likely to be any major surprises for this region.

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“There are some indications there might be a slight warm-up beyond that, as our seasonal forecast for January, February and March does indicate normal to above normal, and fingers crossed that’s what we are hoping for.”

She explains seasonal forecasts are based on probability, but adds that the hope is Grande Prairie won’t face a February nearly as bad as 2019, which saw nighttime lows between minus 30 and minus 40 degrees for the better part of the month.

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