Calgarians relishing every minute of a warm November
Jackets are off on pathways all over the city as people get outside to enjoy November temperatures in the teens.
Jerry McLellan had his lawnmower out three days ago and is now putting his Christmas decorations up in his front yard atop freshly-mown lawn instead of the customary metre of snow.
"Oh yeah, I had my mower out Friday, my neighbor here was doing lights and I was mowing the grass and bringing leaves up and everything so yeah, it's been quite the (weird weather) year," McLellan said.
McLellan has a hard time remembering when it was this warm on November 22nd.
"It's going back a ways, I remember when my son was born late 90s I think it was around 1999," said McLellan. "(It was) plus 20 on Boxing Day I think it was so that's my memory, (but) it hasn't been like this in a number of years."
Down the street in the southeast community Ron Handkamer is raking his front lawn getting his yard cleaned up before the snow falls.
"I can remember some winters where you catch a good chinook and it be you know, really pleasing to have that break in the cold," he said. "But no, we've been really lucky this year."
An above average summer led to low ground water levels and with barely any moisture since, now the Bow River level is lower than normal at this time of year.
Paul Christensen, a senior fisheries biologist with Alberta Environment and Parks, said that could mean trouble for the fish that people come from all over the world to cast a line for.
"Now one benefit that fish have is they are able to move but if we got a very low flow compared to a time of year when fall spawners were spawning, that could result in fish eggs becoming dried out and basically not surviving until the next year," he said.
Christensen said the focus isn't on fish in the winter but they're essentially experiencing a double drought, one in August and another now.
"Flows don't cycle up and down as profoundly as they do in the summer," said Christensen. "This year will be interesting if we start to see flows that drop significantly from this level that might impact recruitment in future years but ultimately, we won't know what it's like until the next few years."
He said while fish can move under ice that forms in the winter, if it's too cold in the coming months the fish will have less habitat because the majority of the river could be frozen solid.