April snowstorms aren't done with the Prairies

·3 min read
Jeff Johnson snow blowing after the storm in Moosomin, Saskatchewan. (Daniella Ponticelli, CBC News - image credit)
Jeff Johnson snow blowing after the storm in Moosomin, Saskatchewan. (Daniella Ponticelli, CBC News - image credit)

Just as people finished digging themselves out of last week's storm, another series of storms are coming, culminating with another Colorado Low at the end of the week.

Unlike last week's storm, which hit Saskatchewan, Manitoba and parts of western Ontario with two consecutive days of snow, this pattern will be spread out over five days.

Brian Luzny, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate change Canada, says an Alberta clipper is currently developing in the Rockies and picking up steam. Alberta will bear the brunt of this first storm with snowfall totals anywhere between 5 to 25 cm of snow, and the capital city could see between 5 to 15 cm.

For Saskatchewan, this clipper is forecasted to cross over into the province early Tuesday morning. At times it will bring heavy, moisture-laden snow with a rain mix. This will make commuting messy and reduce visibility at times.

"The hardest hit areas will be Saskatoon and the northern greenbelt with ... 5 to 10 centimetres on Tuesday evening, and then south through southern Manitoba with again 5 to 10 centimetres, maybe a few pockets of 10 centimetres or more, but not as significant as the last system," Luzny said.

Areas closest to the Alberta border will be the hardest hit with a possible 10 to 15 cm of snow in Lloydminster. Over in the southeast corner of Saskatchewan, another centimetre of snow is possible in Estevan, but this might feel like just a drop in the bucket from the already 30 to 40 centimetres they received last week.

David Stobbe/Canadian Press
David Stobbe/Canadian Press

Further south in Regina, residents could see 1 cm, but in the south it will be all about the wind.

Typically with clippers, a strong wind is associated with this type of system.

"On Tuesday, we'll have southeasterly wind ahead of the low, gusting up to 60 km/h in southeastern Saskatchewan. And then kind of wrapping around the low and hitting Shaunavon, Leader and the Swift Current region we could see wind gusts reaching 80 km/hr," Luzny said.

In both Saskatchewan and Manitoba the snowfall amounts may trigger snowfall warnings, but Luzny says it's too early to say for sure. But he is certain the snow from this clipper will move quickly to our eastern neighbours.

Colorado Low returns

By the end of this week, people may get a feeling of déjà vu as another Colorado Low aims straight for Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

But this low will be different. It will still be a high-impact storm bringing heavy snow, however, the totals are looking significantly lower than the pre-Easter thumping.

WSI, weather systems information map
WSI, weather systems information map

Forecasters are closely watching this low as it could bring blizzard-like conditions across parts of the southern Prairies.

Luzny says his models are showing early signs of significant snow and rain impacting a large area of southern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan.

However, he said "this system, in contrary to the other one, it looks to be a lot warmer, with a lot more wet precipitation, especially for southern Manitoba than the previous one."

Right now the exact track of the low is too far out, and is hard to determine the exact precipitation amounts and type, Luzny said. He advises people to keep a close eye for changes in the weather this week.

Relief in sight

Submitted by Cindy Wright
Submitted by Cindy Wright

The one question people keep asking is when will this snow finally end?

Luzny does offer a ray of hope to those sick of their winter boots and shoveling.

"I think once the Colorado Low passes this past weekend, that should shift the upper air pattern, which which could bring in some warmer air, warmer weather means different types of precipitation, hopefully some days with no precipitation, none at all."

Hopefully, all these April showers bring a bounty of gorgeous May flowers.

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