Pacific storm pushes heavy snow, blowing snow into Alberta, Saskatchewan

The rain storm that drenched the B.C. South Coast over the past few days has become a snowstorm as it pushes over the prairies, bringing freezing rain, heavy snowfall and strong winds throughout the day today and Monday.

Precipitation from this system had already started to fall last night, in a line from west-central Alberta into southern Saskatchewan, with Edmonton reporting light rain in the evening and freezing rain around midnight. This switched over to all snow, heavy at times, overnight and will continue to fall through the morning, with gusty winds causing blowing and drifting snow.

[ Related: Southern Alberta braces for snow ]

The storm is spreading into southern Alberta this morning. Heavy snowfall is expected at times throughout the day, dropping between 10-15 centimetres of snow by tonight, with blowing snow from winds gusting up to 70 km/h.

The snow is expected to stop in central Alberta this afternoon, and in southern Alberta by midnight tonight, however with the strong winds, blowing snow will remain a concern until Monday.

Environment Canada has issued snowfall warnings for much of central Alberta, and winter storm warnings for southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan. The Canadian Avalanche Centre is still warning of a high risk of avalanches in the Columbia Mountains, and in the Rocky Mountains from the South Rockies to Jasper.

[ More Geekquinox: Storm prompts extreme avalanche warnings in B.C. ]

Anyone traveling today should be cautious as road conditions worsen and visibility is reduced by blowing snow.

A few flight delays and one cancellation have already been reported at Edmonton International Airport, and more delays and cancellations are likely at airports throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan as the system spreads and the winds increase in speed.

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