Sask. residents treated to warm, windy weather to begin February

It might be warm enough in southern Saskatchewan on Saturday that people may consider going out in a t-shirt and shorts.

Okay, maybe not that far. But there’s a chance some areas could break temperature records.

The Queen City is set to reach a daytime high of +9°C on Saturday. It’s thanks to what meteorologists call an “atmospheric river”.

Terri Lang, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, explained that this weather phenomenon starts from heavy rains on the west coast, which then creates a chinook in Alberta after the moisture wrung itself over the mountains. The tail end of the chinook then makes its way into Saskatchewan.

However Lang said a burst of warm weather at this time of the year is nothing new.

“We usually get a warmup in January and it seems to happen every year,” shared Lang. “It’s not necessarily out of the ordinary and we know from record temperatures that it has happened before.”

Strong winds from the west will help push the mild weather into the area, meaning residents could expect gusts of up to 50 kilometres per hour or more throughout the weekend.

Areas such as southwest Saskatchewan which have less snow right now might actually break those records since it’ll be easier for them to get warmer.

“Record temperatures in the southwest corner are a lot warmer, and they are used to getting warmer temperatures out there.”

But the southwest region may also see the strongest wind gusts on Saturday. Lang expects they could reach gusts of up to 80 km/h.

She added there’s a chance of flurry activity during the weekend, bringing in a rapid decrease in visibility, especially for people travelling west. Drivers can check highway conditions by visiting the Highway Hotline map.

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