People in central and western Alberta should prepare for another Arctic onslaught this weekend, as the temperature drops and heavy snowfall moves in.
Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning early Friday morning for Edmonton, as well as regions to the west and east of the city, and to the northwest there is a winter storm warning.
Freezing rain warnings were also issues for parts of central Alberta, to the north and east of Edmonton in the morning, but later dropped.
Global Edmonton chief meteorologist Jesse Beyer says Edmonton can expect rain showers on Friday will turn into moderate to heavy snow overnight and into Saturday morning.
The wintry blast will come courtesy of moisture being blown in during a massive temperature drop. Beyer says not one, but two lows are going to bombard Alberta with Pacific air.
“Pacific air will bring us mild temperatures but also a lot of storm juice,” he explained. “Arctic air will follow the surge of mild moist air and lead to massive snowfall totals in Alberta’s northwest.
“Here in Edmonton, snowfall totals will be variable. We could stay on the outside edge of this system, leading to a few centimeters of snow.
“The more likely scenario at this point could leave us with near the 10-centimeter mark by the end of Saturday.”
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Total snowfall amounts of 20 centimeters is expected in areas west of Spruce Grove, Barrhead, and High Prairie, and 10 centimeters in eastern sections including Edmonton, according to Environment Canada.
In northwestern Alberta’s Grande Prairie and Peace River regions, there could be as much as 30 to 40 centimeters by Sunday morning.
A winter storm warning was in effect for areas of western Alberta, including the Highway 43 corridor stretching from Whitecourt to Peace River.
The weather agency said rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult and it advised drivers to consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve.
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Beyer says we should expect a brutal temperature drop by Sunday morning. Edmonton could be below -20 C.
Remembrance Day Monday will also be cold at near -18 C that morning.
Snow is expected to taper off Sunday morning. Visibility will likely be affected and travel could be difficult in some spots.
Beyer believes temperatures could be back above zero by Tuesday.
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One of the best ways to track locally hazardous driving conditions is from local viewer reports. The #yegtraffic hashtag is often used by Twitter users reporting traffic issues within Edmonton.
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