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December warm weather both boon, bad luck in Edmonton

The weather in Edmonton so far this winter couldn’t be more of a change from last year.

“We were closed for almost the entire week over the break because it was so cold, too cold to operate,” Paul Robinson, assistant general manager at Edmonton’s Snow Valley Ski Club, told CTV News Edmonton on Thursday while reminiscing about 2022’s frigid December temperatures.

This December, Snow Valley is buzzing with skiers and snowboarders soaking up some sun.

“We’ve been coming every day,” skier Shane Nielsen said. “My son’s got lessons every Wednesday, and we can’t believe how warm it is.”

The hill at Snow Valley, located on Edmonton’s south side in the Whitemud Creek ravine next to Whitemud Drive, opened on Dec. 2, about three weeks later than usual.

Robinson says business has been slower than in previous years.

“When there’s no snow in the city and people don’t have snow in their yard, they’re not shovelling it off their sidewalks, they’re not thinking of skiing,” he said. “We get calls from people every day asking if we’re even open.”

The warm weather is also keeping some Edmontonians here in the city instead of seeking reprieve from the cold elsewhere.

“Usually I take off to B.C. and the coast this time of year because it’s a little bit warmer out there, but I didn’t have to do that this year because it’s so warm here,” Ellie Heath said at the Oliver off-leash dog park.

Cooler temperatures are expected soon, however, says CTV News Edmonton weather specialist Britt Prendergast.

“As of where we are right now on Dec. 28, it does look like we’re going to take a dip closer to our seasonal averages which is around -10 C for the first week of January, but it also doesn’t look like it’s going to be around for too long,” she said.

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