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Maple Creek has warmest January day in the province's recorded history

Rafter R Brewing Company owner and brewer Ryan Moncrieff, centre, regular customer Jim Roseveare, left, and regular customer Bob Hamenjoy enjoy their brews as they bask on the Maple Creek business's outside patio Tuesday afternoon.  (Rafter R Brewing Company  - image credit)
Rafter R Brewing Company owner and brewer Ryan Moncrieff, centre, regular customer Jim Roseveare, left, and regular customer Bob Hamenjoy enjoy their brews as they bask on the Maple Creek business's outside patio Tuesday afternoon. (Rafter R Brewing Company - image credit)

Municipalities across Saskatchewan are warming up, but none more than Maple Creek, which hit a balmy 21 C just after 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

The double-digit reading toppled the previous January record of 19 C in the Cypress Hills on Jan. 7, 2003.

Ryan Moncrieff, owner and brewer at Rafter R Brewing Company in Maple Creek, says people are using the warm weather as a excuse to hit the brewery's patio.

"I'm of the opinion we'll take it while we can get it and get while the getting is good. Doesn't matter to us if it's January or July. If the weather says sit on the patio then the patio is open," Moncrieff said.

Maple Creek is no stranger to wild weather fluctuations, the brewer says.

"It's quite common in Maple Creek to catch the Chinooks and stuff that comes through in the winter time. And I've seen the temperature go from -30 C, to 4 C in the morning," he said.

"So you know, between El Niño and stuff like that this year, it's just a little bit higher than normal and people are sure enjoying it."

Moncrieff says it's been strange to see kids on their way to school and other people around Maple Creek walk outside without winter clothes on in January.

Maple Creek isn't the only spot that broke warm weather records across Saskatchewan.

Several regions in the province saw their highest recorded temperature records for January 30 shattered on Tuesday.

Swift Current's 1941 record of 8.9 C was toppled when temperatures rose to 17.2 C on Tuesday, Moose Jaw hitting 16 C broke its 93-year old record of 10.6 C, while Regina reached a balmy 10.2 C — more than five degrees above the previous high for the provincial capital.

Environment and Climate Change Canada's three-month outlook shows the province has a 50 to 60 per cent chance of above seasonal temperatures through February and March.

Part of that is the result of continued El Niño conditions, which are expected to weaken to a neutral state in the period between April and June, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

As for Maple Creek breaking temperature records, Moncrieff says he is proud of the accomplishment.

"It can't be anything to thumb your nose at. If you're on the podium, that's definitely a feather in the cap. It's pretty wild. It's pretty new to a lot of people to be seeing temperatures this high."