An Edmonton winter is not for the fainthearted! There's plenty of snow and cold, but there are plenty of things to do in the winter - and it's really not that bad once you get used to it.
Don't let the cold get you down! You can find out what it's like to experience winter in Edmonton - and what to expect if it's your first...But if you're already experiencing one and wonder what kind of things you can do, let us help you out with some Winter Activities in Edmonton.
Edmonton Winter Weather
Edmonton Winter Temperatures
Edmonton is cold in the winter. There's no denying that - but believe it or not, despite it's location far North, it has milder winters than some cities located further south (such as Winnipeg).
Generally the weather stays below freezing from December thru February.
The coldest month of the winter is January...so if you're visiting the city during this month, be sure to pack warm clothes!
The average temperature during the winter months is in the negative teens (Celsius)...but from experience it does often go in into the negative twenty's and thirty's.
The record lows are in the upper negative 40 degrees Celsius (upper 40 to lower 50 degrees F)...so you can rest assured - it won't get worse than that...probably!
Because of Edmonton's relatively dry climate the cold doesn't seem as cold as it would in a more humid climate - this helps to make the cold barable...but negetive thirty and negative forty are just plain cold no matter how you look at it!
If you want to see what Edmonton looks like in the cold, check out these Edmonton winter pictures.
Edmonton's winter lasts a long time. Edmonton snow will begin to stick and stay around November - then you can say "Goodbye" to the grass until around May (of course every year is different).
Edmonton gets about 125 cm (50 in) of snow every year.
Unlike many other places in Canada where the snow will come and then melt, and then come back again - Edmonton snow just stays and piles up higher and higher and higher - melting slowly here and there throughout the season.
Because of this, Edmonton has developed an efficient way of dealing with the snow. City work crews go throughout the city, scooping snow from the streets and piling it into dump trucks. The snow is then taken to one of several Edmonton snow dumps.
If you're new to the area, one thing you need to know is that Edmonton has a law about scooping snow. Your driveway, walkways to your front door, and the sidewalk located directly in front of your house needs to be scooped within 48 hours of a snowfall.
Shoveling around Your House
Shoveling snow is just part of a winter in Edmonton. The city does this for safety and practical reasons. First of all, people deliver mail, flyers, etc. to your house - they need a way to be able to walk to your house in order to deliver it.
People have to walk by your house everyday. They need to be able to walk safely along the sidewalk without having to wade through waist deep snow.
A few tips about shoveling snow we learned in our first year - don't wait more than 48 hours after a snowfall to shovel the snow. We missed doing that once - the result? Because it was late in the winter, the snow partially melted and then froze into solid ice - we chipped and chipped and sanded - but it was impossible to get it shoveled - so don't wait to shovel!
Finally, if your house is in front of a drain - make sure you shovel out that area as well. We had no idea about this. In the first house we stayed in, our house was located in front of a drain on the streets and we didn't think of shoveling it out.
When spring came, the snow began to melt. The road was angled in such a way that a lot of the water from the street would drain to the drain in front of our house...but it was blocked by a pile of snow - the result? A huge massive puddle of water that collected in front of our house - with no where to go!
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