From last year's bone-chilling -48C with the windchill on New Year's Eve to hitting close to double digits this afternoon (January 2), you may be wondering when is winter actually coming?!

Brian Proctor, Meteorologist with Environment Canada, says Cochranites are in for some fairly nice weather temperatures over the next few days. "We have had a lot of storm systems come into the British Columbia coast giving them lots of wind and rain while leaving us with a lot of warm air to spill across the Rockies and flood almost all of western Canada with warm, dry conditions for much of the prairies. It is more than just the typical chinook it's actually affecting warm temperatures right across Saskatchewan and into Manitoba at this time."

Even though people are starting to get used to the warmer conditions, it is certainly not the 'normal' winter weather we are used to, shares Proctor. "Right now if we look at the forecast for Cochrane we are looking for a high today of 8 to 10 degrees and we see those significant warm temperatures persisting right until we get to the weekend; even the overnight lows don't really fall until Friday night into Saturday morning to the below zero type of range. Typically this time of year, in Calgary, our average highs are about -2 to -3C with the overnight lows about -15C; the coldest on record for the Calgary area was -37.2C for the current day, set back in 1950, so these temperatures are significantly above what we would normally expect."

The only downfall to the warm weather temps is the extremely windy conditions they bring along with it. "There has been some extreme wind down in southwest Alberta around the Highway 22 area with winds going up to 140, 160 and even 180 kilometres an hour at times."

If you are anticipating the warm weather to come to a startling end, sooner than later, you may be surprised. "The real cold weather is only going to settle in for the Saturday night until the Monday morning period or afternoon, and then you can expect things to warm up again on Tuesday. It is only a brief respite from the warmth before we start rebounding up again in the middle of the work week, next week. It is still looking like a milder pattern for the long term."

The milder temperatures are due to a weak El Nino, states Proctor, and at this point, we shouldn't expect to see too much change in the weeks ahead.

The five-day weather forecast for the Cochrane area is below:

  • Today

    Mainly cloudy. Wind west 30 km/h gusting to 50. High 10. UV index 2 or low.

  • Tonight

    Partly cloudy. Wind west 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low minus 6. Wind chill minus 8 overnight.

  • Thursday

    A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 in the afternoon. High 8. UV index 1 or low.

  • Thursday night

    Clear. Low minus 3.

  • Friday

    Sunny. High 7.

  • Friday night

    Clear. Low minus 10.

  • Saturday

    Sunny. High minus 3.

  • Saturday night

    Cloudy. Low minus 9.

  • Sunday

    Sunny. High minus 6.

  • Sunday night

    Cloudy periods. Low minus 14.

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