(AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

White Christmas expected for Central Alberta

The Weather Network is predicting a white Christmas for much of Western Canada

Good news for those hoping for a white Christmas, the Weather Network is predicting fresh snow to fall in time for the holidays.

It has been feeling a bit more like spring rather than nearly winter across Central Alberta since the end of November.

Meterologist Doug Gillham at the Weather Network says it is “very odd” to have the first two weeks of December, with temperatures averaging nearly 10 degrees warmer than the average.

Expect an end to the mild temperatures just in time for the first official day of winter on Dec. 21.

The long-range forecast predicts temperatures are expected to begin falling around Dec. 19. The Sylvan Lake area could see upwards of 20 cm of snow over the course of the week leading up to Christmas, with more snow expected to fall Christmas Eve and Day.

“However, Arctic air building to the north will start to plunge south during the middle of next week (though exact timing is still uncertain),” Gilliam said in a press release.

The snow that does fall before the holiday, is expected to “stick around” as temperatures will likely stay on the cooler side. Meteorologists cannot say at this time whether the weather pattern is building to a storm as it is “too early to tell,” but they do say it would be the best way to deliver snow to a wide spread area.

It is looking more like the weather leading up to Christmas will be reminiscent of the beginning of November.

Environment Canada is predicting much the same for the lead up to Christmas as the Weather Network, as is AccuWeather.

The snow and cold is expected to last at least through the holidays, including over New Years, with temperatures expected to be around the -10C mark. Cold, Siberian air could make an appearance in the final week of the year, to end the season and the year with frigid.

“While winter has been delayed, I am sure that it comes as no surprise that it will arrive eventually (next week) and when it does so, it looks like it will come with a vengeance – and hopefully also deliver a coating of snow just in time for a white Christmas,” said Gillham.

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