It was a bitterly cold end to 2018, as temperatures struggled to get up to -27° on New Year’s Eve. Now, just two days removed from the beginning of the year, we are seeing daytime highs above 0°. Not quite record-breaking, but still, well above normal.

David Phillips is the senior climatologist with Environment Canada.

“Typically at this time of year should be -11° for the afternoon high, not 3° or 4°. I mean, these are 14, 15 degrees warmer than normal,” Phillips explained. “What we’re seeing is clearly a change of circulation.”

The change in circulation he is referring to is the movement of warm air from the Pacific, which is blowing over the mountains and into the Prairies. It comes right on the heels of a blast of Arctic air which came through at the tail end of the year.

The warmer weather is bringing with it the drastic jump in temperatures, which has many wondering how long it will last. The answer isn’t necessarily one many would like, as the temperatures will be returning closer to seasonal values next week.

“There will be some more incursions of colder, arctic air, Phillips reminded. “You haven’t finished with winter yet.”

Thanks to the formation of El Nino in the Pacific, the circulation being seen right now isn’t expected to be the last time we see the warm weather during the course of the winter, though. The yo-yoing of the weather is expected to be the norm for southeast Saskatchewan this year, and into the future as well.

You can always keep up to date with the latest forecasts here on Discover Estevan.

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