December has seen some warmer temperatures than previous years. 

"We're ending December here very warm. Last year, we got a cold snap for the last week of the month. But this year we're ending in December and we're ending 2023 pretty warm," said Warning Preparedness Meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada, Alyssa Peterson. 

However, as we head into January there will be more of a cool down. 

"It's just a gradual shift into next week into the more normal temperatures for the Strathmore area and we are sitting around -5 for this week and next week we will be going a little bit below that closer to like -10 for midweek next week to start the new year."

The reason for the warm temperatures in December has a lot to do with the upper ridge. 

"So far we've been pretty stuck in what we call an upper Ridge. So that's generally warmer air through BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan and the jet stream goes up and over Alberta. In that upper Ridge, now that pattern is typical of El Niño and we are in a strong El Niño right now." 

El Niño is a naturally occurring climate pattern associated with the warming of the ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. El Niño occurs on average every two to seven years and typically lasts nine to 12 months.

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