Edmonton experiencing driest fall on record: Environment Canada – Edmonton

As the end of November approaches, Edmonton is experiencing something quite unusual: no snow on the ground. The city is currently on track for one of the driest and warmest Novembers ever.

Typically, Edmontonians would usually be in the full swing of their normal winter activities, but this month has been a bit different.

“In some ways, it’s so nice. Everybody wants to be outside. And wouldn’t it be nice to be outside and skating?” said Jules Chabot with the Edmonton Speed Skating Association.

Members of the Edmonton Speed Skating Association would normally be lacing up their skates and gliding around Victoria Park, but right now there’s only a thin layer of ice.

“We’ve got some young skaters that are kind of on that level of almost getting to the next level, nationally and whatnot. They’re local talent and they’re not able to get the training they need. So they’re going elsewhere,” Chabot said.

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“There’s not much more we can do here other than maybe sharpen our skates and anxiously wait for the ice to be good enough to skate on.”


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Environment Canada says Alberta is experiencing one of the driest seasons on record. Edmonton is also seeing the 14th warmest November in history.

“Many cities that we track this for are reporting in the top 10 driest falls on record.

“Edmonton specifically is the driest fall on record, that includes September, October and November,” said Alysa Pederson, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

In fact, it can’t get any drier. If we stay at the current pace, Edmonton may see its first snowless November. Usually, the average precipitation for November is 18 centimetres; so far, the city has recorded zero centimetres.

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Duggan community ice rink in Edmonton is dry on Nov. 29, 2023.

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The dry conditions are also leading to some other side effects across the province, such as fire risk in November.

“I’ve been around a few years and I can honestly say we haven’t talked about wildfires in November before,” said Alberta Wildfire provincial information officer Melissa Story.

“The wildfire risk is still moderately low but we are seeing some uptake in it. We have had 22 new wildfires since the end of the official wildfire season on Oct. 31st.”


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Environment Canada says Albertans are currently experiencing an El Nino. One of the reasons the city has also not seen the usual amount of precipitation is because of another weather system.

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“What we’ve seen so far this year is what we call ridging. It’s a warm, dry dome of warmer air essentially over B.C., Alberta and the northwestern states that kind of blocks some storms from the Pacific from actually making their way into the province,” said Pederson.

No matter how dry the city is, some are still trying to make do.

Although they won’t be able to play on any outdoor rinks anytime soon, places like Snow Valley are getting set for their late opening day. In the meantime, they made a lot of extra snow to cover their hills.

“Dec. 2 is the latest date, matches I think 2016 or 2017. But we’re ready to go,” said Tim Dea with the Snow Valley Ski Club.

“We were able to make all the snow and we’ll have both lifts and both carpets running. We’re so excited for this season to finally get underway.”


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Warm November in Edmonton welcomed by many


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