What happened to the Fraser Valley winter?

Fraser Valley residents experienced a green Christmas in 2011, followed by a warmer than normal New Year.

Fraser Valley residents experienced a green Christmas in 2011, followed by a warmer than normal New Year.

Temperatures have crept up as high as 11 degrees Celsius during a month normally known for chilly winds and icy roads.

“Your normal high at this time of year is about four degrees in Abbotsford,” said Environment Canada meteorologist David Jones.

The average low hovers at about the zero mark. A look at the upcoming weather forecast shows temperatures closer to the 10 range.

“We’re just getting a series of these systems that are coming at us from the southwest. They head to the northern gulf of Alaska and they sweep this warm air all up across the coast and into the Interior.” said Jones.

He said temperatures will be up and down over the next few days

While winter’s icy touch has been elusive, the recent warm spell was far from record-breaking.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Abbotsford in December was 18.2 C on Dec. 26, 1980.

Still, the warmer temperatures are a sharp contrast to earlier predictions which warned B.C.ers to expect one of the coldest winters in recent memory.

“That was absolute rubbish from AccuWeather in the U.S. Ignore everything you hear about the weather from AccuWeather. The long-range forecast is nothing but speculation … it’s not an objective forecast in any way,”  said Jones.

He also pointed out that winter only started two weeks ago, so it’s “a bit early” to classify trends.