An Alberta clipper that will soon come to fruition will make a trip across the country, eventually merging with a Texas low, making a few hefty snow stops along the way -- the Prairies will be the first destination. The system will be comprised of energy from a potent "weather bomb" that is currently impacting B.C. and the energy will spill over the Rockies, stirring up a snowy Alberta clipper by Wednesday morning. The region can expect to see considerable snowfall accumulations across a swath of northern, central and southern areas of all Prairie provinces, as well as a blast of strong winds that may bring whiteout conditions at times. Significant snow will also reach sections of northwestern Ontario, with as much as 40 cm possible by Friday evening. Travel impacts are expected, particuarly along the Trans-Canada Highway. More on the timing of the snow and winds, below.
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WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY: SNOW MOVES ONTO THE PRAIRIES AS CLIPPER BEGINS LONG TREK
While northern Alberta will start to see snow push in late Tuesday night, with up to 5 cm possible, the clipper will develop over Saskatchewan by early Wednesday morning bringing snow and strong winds before tracking east into Manitoba and northwestern Ontario by Thursday. Widespread special weather statments span the entire region from Saskatchewan to northern Ontario, with parts of Manitoba already under a winter storm watch.
The system will kick up to 5-10 cm of snow for northern and central Saskatchewan, then batter central and southern Manitoba with even higher amounts -- with areas south of Dauphin, Man., possibly hitting 20-25 cm by the time it departs. As much as 50 cm may fall over higher terrain.
"Avoid travel if possible," warns Environment and Climate Change Canada in the winter storm watch. "If you must travel, keep others informed of your schedule and destination and carry an emergency kit and mobile phone."
Similar heavy snowfall amounts are expected across far northwestern Ontario through Friday, with 20-40 cm possible in the swath of heaviest snowfall.
Southern Alberta won't see much precipitation from the clipper.
As well, there may be some mixing in southern areas of Saskatchewan and Manitoba Wednesday and Thursday. Because of this, an exact measurement of accumulations may not be possible because of intermittent melting.
Compounding the snow will be the winds, which will begin ramping up Tuesday evening along the foothills in Alberta, extending into Medicine Hat. By Wednesday afternoon, widespread wind gusts of 60-70 km/h will be felt across southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, and Manitoba in the evening as the clipper approaches. In northern Ontario, winds and blowing snow will be especially strong on Thursday and likely Friday as well.
Whiteout conditions will be possible, so motorists should be mindful before heading out on the roads. Significant travel impacts are expected along the Trans-Canada Highway.
Temperatures will be quite chilly through the duration of the clipper, with single-digit highs Wednesday and Thursday for most areas and some locales not even making it above the freezing mark.
Conditions will improve from west to east starting in Alberta Thursday, then Saskatchewan and Manitoba on Friday, with lighter snow or flurries expected in northwestern Ontario on Saturday.
Be sure to check back for the latest updates on this snowy system for the Prairies.