WATCH ABOVE: Many Edmontonians are celebrating the warmer weather, but how is it affecting roads, drainage, and an international extreme sporting event? Lisa Wolansky finds out.
EDMONTON — While most Edmontonians are enjoying the warm March weather, it’s not as nice on city roads and other services.
“It’s tough on roads when you get a lot of freezing and thawing,” said Edmonton’s road boss Bob Dunford.
“It’s hard to say whether it will be a high pothole year or not or if it’s just earlier than normal.”
Extreme temperature changes are causing drainage problems, especially in residential areas. The city is encouraging residents to check sump pumps and eavesdrops to make sure they’re in good working order. And, if you notice excessive pooling in your neighbourhood, you’re asked to report it to 311.
“We want to get the built-up ice out of the gutters get it out of there so that we ‘re getting the melt going,” explained Dunford.
“We’re thinking towards spring cleanup: the faster we can promote the melt, the faster we can get on sweeping.”
WATCH: Crashed Ice track construction day 25 via Shaw Conference Centre
However, there is one place that wants to hang on to the ice for a few more days.
In Edmonton’s downtown, almost the only ice left is along the Red Bull Crashed Ice track.
But, a track designer for the international sporting event isn’t overly concerned about the weather.
“We manufacture the ice and have advanced chilling systems in place to keep the track frozen even if it gets warm outside,” said Andrew Markey of Hangman Productions.
“We also cover certain parts of the ice that are south facing and receive high sun exposure to make sure we’re good to go for the event.”
Crashed Ice has a team of 12 ice-makers that spray water in a fine mist onto refrigerated mats 24-hours a day for six days to create and keep up the ice surface.
The big race takes place in downtown Edmonton on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
WATCH: Red Bull Crashed Ice Track construction livestream
Global Edmonton meteorologist Nicola Crosbie says temperatures could rise into the teens by Friday.
“It’s not unusual for Edmonton to have huge swings in temperature in March,” she explains. “In 2014, we had a 10-day stretch of temperatures from 9 C to 13 C.”
She adds week-long warm waves – as opposed to heat waves – of 10 C or higher are commonplace.
“In the past seven years we consistently have warm air dominating the forecast.”
“The jet stream is on our side right now, with a large ridge of high pressure building in from the west. This helps all the warm air from the south to move in to the area.”
On Saturday, the Edmonton area is forecast to reach 14 C.
WATCH: Meteorologist Nicola Crosbie has our weather forecast for Monday, March 9, 2015. The warming trend continues!