A pedestrian makes their way through the cold and snow near Jasper Avenue and 102 Street, in Edmonton Friday Feb. 1, 2019.
David Bloom / Postmedia
Edmontonians just went through the city’s coldest February in 40 years.This year’s average February temperature was close to nine degrees colder than the annual average, leading to the coldest February since 1979.“Our average temperature for the month has been -19.7 C and in an average February we would have a mean temperature of -10.1 C,” said Kyle Fougere, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.In Edmonton, February is historically the second coldest month of the year. Fougere said this year it probably felt even colder after December and January had above-average temperatures.February’s cold temperatures could be attributed to a “polar cold front” coming south from the territories.Polar cold fronts are caused when a weak pressure system sends cold air south from the Arctic. Fougere said these cold fronts are normal in Alberta but they usually don’t last as long as they recently have.“This arctic air mass has been stubborn,” said Fougere. “This individual event we wouldn’t tie to (climate change) but it is possible you could see this kind of pattern repeat itself as the climate changes.”The cold fronts prompted Environment Canada to issue a cold weather warning from Feb. 2 to 15 and intermittently throughout the rest of the month.The cold weather prompted the city to open the Central LRT station 24 hour a days for the less fortunate to get shelter. Early in the month one person was found dead outside due to the cold temperatures.Environmentalists said the prolonged colds could affect both honeybee and mountain pine beetle populations in the province.Fougere had bad news for those looking for the cold weather to not continue past February.“We’re looking at a very cold weekend again,” said Fougere. “We’re still going to stay below normal for next week but it’s looking like by the middle of March we should be back towards normal temperatures.”Fougere said normal temperatures for March means a daytime high of -1 C and an overnight low of -10 C.Fougere said it doesn’t appear Edmonton will be rewarded for its resilience, as forecasts predict average summer firstname.lastname@example.org@dylanshort_