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Spring-like February 15 a record-setter in Alberta

People out enjoying the unseasonably warm February weather in Edmonton. Les Knight/Global News

A mid-winter warm up in Alberta led to several unofficial temperature records being broken Wednesday.

After just missing a new record on Valentine’s Day, Edmonton unofficially broke a record on Feb. 15 that stood for more than a century. The city reached 16.4 C Wednesday afternoon, topping the previous mark of 13.9 C set in 1916.

Calgary also set a record, topping out at 16.4 C, beating the previous record high of 15.6 C also set in 1916.

“We’re dealing with a ridge of high pressure that’s placed in the pacific northwest,” said Global Edmonton Chief Meteorologist Jesse Beyer.

“That high is moving in warm air off the Pacific Ocean into the western Prairies.”

In total, 16 temperature records were confirmed by Environment Canada across the province today.

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Banff 9.5 C (old record of 9.4 C set in 1950)

Calgary 16.4 C (old record of 15.6 C set in 1916)

Claresholm 16.1 C (old record of 15.4 C set in 2013)

Coronation 9.2 C (old record of 6.8 C set in 1991)

Edmonton International Airport 11.9 C (old record of 8.4 C set in 2008)

Edmonton Blatchford 16.4 C (old record of 13.9 C set in 1916)

Fort Chipewyan 5.8 C (old record of 4.2 C set in 1977)

Grande Prairie 11.1 C (old record of 9.4 C set in 1931) High Level 9.4 C

(old record of 7.9 C set in 1977)Jasper 10.3 C (old record of 9.4 C set in 1950)

Lethbridge 15.0 C (old record of 14 C set in 1991)

Peace River 7.2 C (old record of 6.9 C set in 2013)

Sundre 16.4 C (old record of 15 C set in 2008)

Vauxhall 14.9 C (old record of 14.8 C set in 2002)

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Waterton 16.4 C (old record of 11.4 C in 2013)

The warm up is taking a toll on winter attractions like the Ice Castle in Edmonton’s Hawrelak Park.

The castle is closed for three days for maintenance, and will close for the season on Feb. 26.

Beyer warns Albertans shouldn’t get too used to these temperatures, as there is still plenty of time left before spring officially arrives at the end of March.

“Winter isn’t over, we’re just on the good side of the jet stream for now,” Beyer said, pointing to cold temperatures across the Arctic.

“Stations in some places north of us are reading anywhere from -25 C to -35 C. If we see the jet stream slump into more of a trough allowing that air into our area, we’d get a major temperature drop.”

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