With mild temperatures melting snow on the ground, Estevan is increasing its chances of seeing a brown Christmas this year. On Friday, Environment Canada's reporting station at the Weyburn Airport reported four centimetres of snow on the ground, but with daily highs of four degrees Friday and Saturday that number will likely be reduced.

Regional Meteorologist with Environment Canada Terri Lang told Discover Estevan News that even with the warm-up, the chances of a white Christmas are historically high.

"In the last about 30 years, there's a 90 percent chance of getting a white Christmas and a 10 percent chance of getting a brown Christmas, so the odds are in favour of a white Christmas, but this year might stick out as one of those years that it might not happen."

Lang said looking into the long-range forecast, the temperature heading into Christmas will be mild but stressed that anything could happen over the next week and a half.

The mild temperatures and high winds here are being blamed on El Niño in the South Pacific, according to Lang, as it offsets the jet stream over western Canada, sending it north and bringing the weather pattern that southern Saskatchewan is currently experiencing.

Residents may get used to the milder weather, with Environment Canada forecasting above average temperatures and below average precipitation for December, January, and February. However, Lang explained that the long-range weather forecast is not an exact science.

"It is noteworthy to say that in the fall we forecasted a mild fall and it turned out to be one of the top ten coldest on record so the long-term forecasts don't always work out as they're supposed to," shared Lang.

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