Alberta has warm, record-breaking start to December

Record-breaking warmth swept across Alberta on Wednesday and stuck around for Thursday, breaking a total of 17 daytime high records in the province.

On Thursday, Claresholm recorded the hottest temperature in the entire country when it hit 18.5 C at 2 p.m. in the afternoon.

Calgary also broke its 81-year-old record when one station in the city reached 16.1 C at 1 p.m. Normally this time of year, daytime highs in Calgary should be sitting around -4 C.

Although many Albertans are enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, it’s not good news for outdoor rinks and ski hills. This warm air mass is expected to linger into the beginning of next week, keeping daytime highs warmer than seasonal and above the freezing mark.

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Usually, by this time of year, Alberta is settling into darker, colder days as the winter season gets underway. However, Environment Canada says a warm start to December isn’t all that unusual.

“The last time it was this warm in Dec was in 2017. Parts of (Alberta) were 10-15 C for multiple days,” the weather agency tweeted.  

For meteorologists and climatologists, the winter season is defined by the three coldest months of the year (December, January and February). This means the meteorological winter season has already kicked off. However, the more commonly known astronomical winter season starts with the solstice on Dec. 21 and will end on the spring equinox on March 20.

Read more: Calgary’s temperatures 30 C warmer than this time last year

The six records that were broken on Dec. 2 in Alberta are listed below.

Breton

  • New record: 11.4 C
  • Old record: 10.5 C in 2004

Elk Island National Park

  • New record: 8.1 C
  • Old record: 7.1 C in 2015

High River

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  • New record: 13.6 C
  • Old record: 10.6 C in 1915

Mildred Lake

  • New record: 6.5 C
  • Old record: 5.1 C in 2015

Red Earth Creek

  • New record: 9.7 C
  • Old record: 6.8 C in 2015

Sundre

  • New record: 11.9 C
  • Old record: 8.8 C in 2004

Read more: Heading into a La Niña winter, what does that mean for Alberta?

The 11 records that were broken on Dec. 3 in Alberta are listed below.

Airdrie

  • New record: 16.1 C
  • Old record: 12.8 C in 1939

Breton

  • New record: 12.3 C
  • Old record: 11.8 C in 2004

Calgary

  • New record: 16.1 C
  • Old record: 12.8 C in 1939

Cardston

  • New record: 14.0 C
  • Old record: 13.0 C in 1988

Claresholm

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  • New record: 18.5
  • Old record: 16.7 C in 1969

Hendrickson Creek

  • New record: 12.8 C
  • Old record: 7.7 C in 2004

Mildred Lake

  • New record: 6.0 C
  • Old record: 3.5 C in 1978

Milk River

  • New record: 12.0 C
  • Old record: 10.5 C in 2003

Red Earth Creek

  • New record: 8.5 C
  • Old record: 6.8 C in 2004

Stavely

  • New record: 17.2 C
  • Old record: 16.7 C in 1969

Sundre

  • New record: 14.2 C
  • Old record: 12.1 C in 2004
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