After one of the coolest Octobers in decades, the month of November will start off feeling much different in Edmonton.
And don’t let the weather for the first two days of the month fool you – a warming trend is on the way, with daytime highs in the 10 to 16 degree Celsius range through the weekend.
Environment Canada meteorologist Dan Kulak says wind will play a vital role in the warm-up.
“Warm air appears to be moving in aloft,” Kulak said, referring to air in the upper atmosphere. “But the big question will be how much wind develops to bring the warm air down to the surface.”
Breezy conditions are expected for much of west and central Alberta this week, with near warning-level conditions developing in the southwest Wednesday.
If wind in the upper atmosphere is able to mix down with the surface level, it could result in temperatures of 10 or more degrees above seasonal.
“Warm air naturally tends to ride over top of cold air,” Kulak explained. With the sun at a low angle and not adding much heat, “the only way at this time of year to get rid of the cold air near the ground, is to have enough wind develop at the ground to mix the colder air at the ground into the incoming warmer air aloft.”
Kulak admits it can be challenging to forecast this type of temperature swing at the beginning of November. For example, Wednesday’s forecast high of 8°C was dampened by a persistent cloud cover and milder than expected winds, resulting in a temperature of just 5°C by 4 p.m.
But confidence is high with sunny and breezy weather that by Friday and Saturday, the thermometer could easily surpass the 15°C mark. If that forecast holds, it means the first 10 days of November in 2016 will be the warmest start to the month in at least two decades.