Central Canada braces for cold and snow as Old Man Winter tightens its grasp

If you live in Central Canada and you haven't put on your winter tires, now might be a good time.

Although the prairie provinces have already had more than their fair share of miserable, wintry weather over the past month, weather forecasts for the weekend and all of next week are hinting that the rest of Canada should — if they haven't already — consider finally breaking out the winter weather gear and making sure the snow tires are on the car.

According to Environment Canada's national forecast page, it looks like the two opposite ends of the country will be fairly mild but rainy for Friday and Saturday (and the East Coast should enjoy those temperatures while they last).

For everyone in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the forecast is fairly quiet, but still cold. Tomorrow's temperatures look like they will only reach a high of 0°C in Calgary, -5°C in Edmonton, and -6°C in Saskatoon and -3°C in Regina, and it will be even colder on Sunday, just a few degrees lower in Alberta, but down into the double-digit negatives for Saskatchewan.

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If you live between Windsor to Quebec City, you have snow flurries in the forecast, with high temperatures either at or near freezing on Saturday — so watch out for freezing rain too! — and those will be dipping even lower on Sunday as the system delivering this lovely 'Canadian' weather pushes the cold into New Brunswick, PEI and Nova Scotia as well (see, I told the East Coast they should enjoy it while it lasts). Newfoundland seems to be spared the freezing weather, though — at least for the short-term forecast.

I didn't forget the areas between Regina and Windsor either. I saved you for last, because you'll be getting a special 'best of both worlds' combo — cold and snowy! I bet you're excited to get that news!

As for next week, I'm hesitant to quote any numbers, because it is a long-range forecast at that point, and we know how reliable those can be, but here I go...

Mild for southern B.C., with highs of around of around 7°C on Monday and 11°C on Tuesday, and warming up for southern Alberta, with highs in Calgary of 1°C on Monday and 7°C on Tuesday. Continuing cold for the rest of the prairies those two days. More near-freezing temperatures for southern Ontario and southwestern Quebec, and possibly more snow starting Tuesday night. Clear and cold for the Atlantic provinces, with highs near freezing.

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Current computer weather model runs seem to be almost evenly split between Tuesday's snow just being some lake-effect snow in southern Ontario, or a big weather system coming up out of the U.S. Midwest dump a load of the white stuff from Windsor to St. John's by the end of the week.

Not that I'm suggesting we should be really worried about all this. After all, we are Canadians. It's not like we aren't used to this kind of weather. However, as they say, forewarned is forearmed.

Stay safe, stay warm, and maybe get the skates or skis out of storage.

(Photo courtesy The Canadian Press)

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