The temperatures in Weyburn have brought smiles to many faces. A late-month warm spell has brought temperatures well above normal, and has set some records not just in Weyburn, but throughout southern Saskatchewan.
While many are enjoying the weather, there are some downsides to it, as Terri Lang, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada explained.
“I think the number one downside is the loss of the snowpack,” Lang said. “When it’s really warm and the winds are quite strong, the snowpack disappears very quickly; and because it was so dark and cold just a few weeks ago, the ground is frozen, so most of that moisture is probably not making it into the ground.”
The freeze-thaw cycle that comes from daytime highs of close to 10° and overnight lows just below freezing can also wreak havoc on infrastructure. Lang pointed out this can lead to some problems for municipalities.
“Even though they’re probably saving lots of money on snow clearing, the freeze-thaw cycle is really problematic, because what happens is the water trickles into the cracks in the road, and when it freezes in the overnight period, it expands,” Lang said of the process. “So, you keep doing that over and over and over again, and the cracks and the potholes and everything get bigger and bigger with the ongoing freeze-thaw cycle.”