SASKATOON – With the forecast calling for daytime highs above the freezing mark for the next several days, Saskatonians are celebrating and bemoaning the weather all at the same time. Alison Landry is one of the people welcoming the warm, dry conditions.
The Saskatoon resident will walk through freezing cold and scorching hot temperatures to get her exercise, but considers the balmy conditions “wonderful.”
The only drawback is what’s happened to her shoes.
“Well, they’re almost cloth-like, so the water gets in,” Landry said. “There’s puddles everywhere and getting that wet snow in there and melting on your shoes, yeah it makes for a squishy walk.”
An El Niño weather system, involving warm air coming off the Pacific Ocean, has caused unseasonably mild weather through most of Canada so far this winter.
Not the weather you’d expect for December 4. Meet the people feeling the warmth tonight at 6. @GlobalSaskatoon #yxe pic.twitter老域名购买/5j2MfxhXCT
— Ryan Kessler (@RyanKGlobal) December 4, 2015
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The conditions haven’t been kind to the Meewasin Valley Authority, which opened its public skating rink on Dec. 6 last year.
This year, the rink is riddled with puddles and likely won’t open until Dec. 17. Crews have managed to do some flooding overnight, but the rink needs temperatures around -10 degrees Celsius and three to five centimetres of snow.
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“The good thing about the pooling and the melting is that the lumps are levelling out. So once it freezes again in a couple of days, we will have good ice,” said Doug Porteous, manager of community development with Meewasin.
The other challenge for rink officials has come from people skating on the ice prematurely. The surface has suffered some damage and cracks in the ice have put the skaters at risk for injury.
“Those of you that are coming to skate at two, three and four in the morning, perhaps help us out and just stay away at [this] time,” Porteous said.
Once the winter skating season begins, the Meewasin rink will be open daily from noon until 9 p.m. CT with the exception of New Year’s Eve, when the ice will stay open until 1 a.m. CT.