You’re hot and you’re cold

Warmth and wind warn­ings across south Saskatchewan

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - FRONT PAGE - MICHAEL JOEL-HANSEN

If the weather were to con­tinue this way, we would see some sav­ings in the bud­get.

Dar­rin Stephan­son

Peo­ple in south­ern Saskatchewan were work­ing to hold onto their hats Mon­day morn­ing. En­vi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Change Canada is­sued a wind warn­ing for south­ern parts of the prov­ince, while parts of the north were un­der a snow fall warn­ing. This comes as south­ern Saskatchewan has been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some warm tem­per­a­tures.

Mu­nic­i­pal op­er­a­tions man­ager Dar­rin Stephan­son said the weather has not changed how the city is do­ing main­te­nance in a ma­jor way.

“It’s a slow melt, so that doesn’t cre­ate too many chal­lenges for us,” he said.

Stephan­son said that they were mak­ing sure to keep an eye on 20 ar­eas of the city that are more prone to lo­cal­ized flood­ing. He added that they could be see­ing some prob­lems when tem­per­a­tures drop.

“The hov­er­ing around zero and get­ting mois­ture, I guess would typ­i­cally be­come prob­lem­atic for us when we get freez­ing rain and stuff,” he said.

Stephan­son said it was hard to say if the city would re­al­ize any ma­jor sav­ings from not hav­ing to run the plows.

“If the weather were to con­tinue this way, we would see some sav­ings in the bud­get,” he said.

The cur­rent weather con­di­tions can be hard on the city’s road as the chang­ing con­di­tions can ex­ac­er­bate is­sues like pot­holes and cause prob­lems for other im­por­tant in­fra­struc­ture.

“It is (prob­lem­atic), and un­der­ground as well, any­time you have the freezethaw cy­cle, ex­pan­sion, con­trac­tion, con­tin­u­ally hap­pen,” he said.

Terri Lang, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist with En­vi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Change Canada, said the re­cent warm con­di­tions are not un­usual.

“It’s cer­tainly not out of the or­di­nary, we do have mild por­tions … es­pe­cially through Novem­ber, where we’re bat­tling the cold ver­sus the warm,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to Lang, this means that con­di­tions can range from tem­per­a­tures be­ing as warm as 9 C to very cold, at -32 C. Lang added that the weather peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence in their re­gion can be af­fected by one ma­jor fac­tor.

“De­pend­ing where the jet stream is at, will de­ter­mine where your tem­per­a­ture is at, and right now the jet stream is through cen­tral Saskatchewan,” she said.

If a lo­ca­tion sits on top of where the jet stream is, that area is likely to ex­pe­ri­ence colder con­di­tions, while those sit­ting di­rectly un­der­neath will more likely get warmer weather. Lang said that peo­ple in the south­ern part of the prov­ince will prob­a­bly be see­ing warm weather for at least the rest of the week.

“Look­ing into the long-range fore­casts, it looks like the con­di­tions will last to at least the week­end,” she said.

The jet stream is also play­ing a role in the windy con­di­tions that were bat­ter­ing parts of the prov­ince Mon­day morn­ing. En­vi­ron­ment Canada and Cli­mate Change Canada will is­sue a wind warn­ing if winds will be get­ting up to 60 km/h for a sus­tained pe­riod of time, or if winds will get up to 90 km/h dur­ing any pe­riod.

“When we have a sig­nif­i­cant low pres­sure sys­tem move through, there’s usu­ally a big change in tem­per­a­ture to the south of it, and the low pres­sure sys­tems do fol­low along the jet stream, that’s why we tend to get these strong winds in the south as these sys­tems move through,” Lang said.

In most cases in­volv­ing ex­treme winds, the con­di­tions will not last long as the gusts tend to be Al­berta clip­per winds, which move through quickly. This Novem­ber has been a bit windier than av­er­age. The 30-year av­er­age for Novem­ber has been 17.4 km/h, while this month has seen the av­er­age go up to 18.9 km/h.

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