The Weather Network – Wintry blast welcomes spring in Alberta, but a soaring warm-up looms

Sunday, March 20th 2022, 11:04 pm – A burst of heavy snow will sweep through parts of Alberta on Sunday. This will be followed by some of the warmest air this year arriving by the middle of this week.

What better way to welcome spring in Alberta than a burst of heavy snow. A clipper will slide across with a quick 5-10 cm accumulation, possibly as high as 20 cm locally in some areas. The bigger issue, however, will be the winds, which will make for poor visibility on the roads. Blowing snow will make traveling difficult. It won’t take long for the wintry weather to disappear, as southern Alberta could be seeing its first 20-degree temperature of the year on Wednesday. More on the snow and what’s to come, below.


DON’T MISS: Welcome to spring, Canada! Your next three months of weather, here


SUNDAY: SNOW, GUSTY WINDS TO MAKE TRAVEL TRICKY ACROSS PARTS OF ALBERTA

An upper-level trough that crossed the Rockies into Alberta will spawn a clipper over the center of the province that will bring a period of steady snowfall to the Edmonton area Sunday.

Snowfall has begun in west-central Alberta, and will move eastward throughout the day. The snow is expected to be wet, heavy and will briefly be mixed with rain or freezing rain in the morning. Use extra caution if you have to travel on Sunday, and watch out for slick spots.

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Periods of heavy snow are possible across Edmonton through Sunday afternoon. Gusty winds could lead to a threat for blowing snow, as well, which could make travel even more difficult at times.

“Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow,” Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) says in the snowfall warning.

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Snowfall totals by the end of the day on Sunday should amount to 5-10 cm around Edmonton, with locally higher totals possible. Because of the convective nature of the snowfall, locally 20 cm of snow is possible in some areas. As a testament to the nature of it, thundersnow was recently reported near Red Deer.

Around 5 cm of snow is likely along the foothills, with just a dusting possible down toward Calgary.

Snowfall will end late Sunday afternoon in central Alberta, and late evening in eastern sections.

MONDAY AND BEYOND: SYSTEM DEPARTS, RIDGE BRINGS PLEASANT WARMTH

Calming conditions will prevail across the Prairies heading into the new workweek. Pacific flow beneath a ridge of high pressure building over Western Canada will bring a period of warmer temperatures to the region, including the potential for the region’s first 20°C reading of the year.

Wednesday’s daytime highs will soar into the upper teens for much of southern Alberta, with communities like Lethbridge and Medicine Hat coming within shouting distance of that 20-degree mark.

PRETEMPWED

Unseasonably warm temperatures will reach into the northern Prairies, as well. Fort McMurray could reach 10°C on Wednesday, which is well above the normal high of 2°C for this time of year.

The ridge responsible for the mid-week warmth will quickly weaken by the end of the week, but we should see above-seasonal temperatures continue across much of the Prairies heading into next weekend.

Stay tuned to The Weather Network for all the latest on conditions across the Prairies.

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