Those wishing for a white Christmas may have to hold their breath and bundle up against the cold instead.
The official first day of winter and the shortest day of the year arrived on Thursday coming in with a blast of cold weather.
David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada, said he sees lots of sunshine in the forecast for the Queen City, but it will be brisk and cold.
He said there will be no major snowstorms keeping you with the in-laws over holidays but there will be a chance of flurries on Christmas day.
“(Regina) had a (white Christmas) last year. On Christmas Eve you had one centimetre of snow on the ground … and then all of a sudden before that observation was made Christmas morning, you got about five centimetres of snow,” he said.
The last time Regina saw a brown or green Christmas was back in 2002.
“It’s almost like death and taxes and a white Christmas is something you see in southern Saskatchewan, but it may be a little touch and go, you may come out to be one of the very few spots in Canada that doesn’t have a white Christmas,” Phillips said.
The temperature around Christmas, and for the last week of December, will be about 10 degrees colder than normal, according to Phillips. He said we’ll see highs around -20 C and lows around -25 C.
“The arctic air is going to arrive, it’s like molasses, it’s going to fill every nook and cranny and it’s going to stay put. The good news is that Christmas time, we don’t see any weather that will cause any grief,” he said.
Some areas of southern Saskatchewan have been seeing unseasonably warm weather over the last few months. Despite November being a little cooler than normal, the first 20 days of December were well above normal temperatures.
The average temperature this December has been -4.2 C, Phillips said normally December’s average temperature is -12 C.
Philips said December won’t end like it began.
“Clearly we know that December is going to be a warmer than normal month. You’d have to have a Siberian Express and an ice age cometh, to deny you that fact. We only got (a few more days) to go, you’re not going to erase what Mother Nature has given you in the first three weeks of December,” he explained.
But this is Saskatchewan, where the weather can change in an instant. Phillips said long term we’ll see colder than normal temperatures for the rest of winter but that will mainly be in central and northern Saskatchewan.
“In southern Saskatchewan, it’s more of a flip-flop. We’re not sure it’s going to be as brutal as we’re going to see at the end of this year,” he said.
Phillips called it yo-yo weather. He said we’re going to get a couple of weeks of cold weather and then get that kind of melting and thawing weather.
“I think there will be moments that you wish you were somewhere else,” he said.
Hot, dry summer set records for lack of rain
Looking back on the summer of 2017, Regina set a record for a lack of rain in July and August with only 13 millimetres or less than half an inch. Measuring precipitation from May through to August it was also the second driest summer in 132 years.
Environment Canada chose the hot dry Saskatchewan summer as the second biggest weather story of the year. The wildfires in B.C. took the top spot.
– With files from the 980 CJME Morning Show