January looks to be a warmer-than-usual month for Portage la Prairie, and Sunday is expected to be significantly higher than normal. Environment and Climate Change Canada Meteorologist Janelle Gergely shares the good news and how it's related to some conditions in Saskatchewan. We spoke with Gergely Friday afternoon when she said we are hitting temperatures toward positive digits in the forecast.

"The normal for this time of year for Portage la Prairie is -12," says Gergely. "Early forecasts see a high of 0. That is about 12 degrees above normal, but it's actually not too abnormal to see these fluctuations in temperature in the winter. What we have this weekend is a low-pressure system that's going to move through southern Saskatchewan into southern Manitoba. As that warm front moves through, that's when we're going to see that increase in temperature and that rise to 0."

She notes south winds are going to help bring in some warmth as well as a little bit of moisture.

"I was looking ahead, and we won't see highs of 0, but we're still going to see above normal into next week with, maybe, a return to more of the normal temperatures later next week. But even when I look long range, we're still seeing fairly mild temperatures, either in the -12 or above, although still below 0 for the next 10 days for sure. That may even extend into the end of the month, so we're not really seeing any extreme above 0s or any extreme colds for the remainder of the month."

Gergely adds there's also not much precipitation that we'll be getting, making it pretty dry during these mild conditions.

"I was looking at what the records were for Portage la Prairie this time of year and over the weekend," says Gergely. "You would have to hit as high of 6 or 7 to actually be record-breaking. And so, we're not really there. Like I said, it's not that abnormal to see temperatures around 0." 

Gergely adds extreme southwestern Manitoba has a risk of freezing rain Saturday night into Sunday.

"So, if anybody is traveling west from Portage la Prairie, just check the local forecast before you go out, as there might be some icy conditions."