With the anomalous warm weather we have been experiencing this past week, you may be wondering if we are due for an early spring.

Groundhog Day is only a few days away, and many are anticipating what the infamous Balzac Billy and his American colleague Punxsutawney Phil will predict.

Looking at the short-term forecast, weather predictions determine that come Saturday (February 3), there will be a shift to colder conditions.

“It looks like we will see a slightly cooler temperature for the second week of February, where we’re going to get a bit of a cooldown, possibly slightly below normal just for that period,” Meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, Justin Shelley, said.

It is possible that, come the weekend, we may see some snow and freezing rain in Strathmore.

After that, Shelley predicts that February will be slightly warmer than normal.

“Within the next 7–10 days, we could see some cooler temperatures, such as overnight lows in the -10 to -15°C range and possible daytime highs near -5°C, so it will certainly feel a lot colder than what we’ve been experiencing this week, but it's closer to normal or just slightly colder than normal for that period in February."

Looking ahead to March, it looks like the above-normal weather trend will still be in place.

“Warmer than normal conditions will persist, and as we get further and further into February and eventually March, our normal daytime temperatures are going to rise. So, the likelihood of these extremely cold temperatures will decrease,” Shelley said.

With the weekend being slightly cooler but overall February and March looking mild, it is a mystery as to what the groundhog will predict.

In Alberta, we rely on our resident groundhog, Balzac Billy, to deliver the news if winter continues for six more weeks or if it ends.

Billy may be thrown off if there is snow on the ground, but for now, the long-term forecast is looking mild.

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