Downsloping winds bring unseasonable warmth in southern Alberta

Digital Writers
·2 min read
Downsloping winds bring unseasonable warmth in southern Alberta
Downsloping winds bring unseasonable warmth in southern Alberta

Alberta is the midst of polar opposite weather extremes across the province and the pattern will continue through Tuesday. Thanks to a persistent Pacific flow, temperatures in southern Alberta, especially along the QE2, will see a 15°C-20°C difference by Monday afternoon. Daytime highs will hit the upper single digits, even hitting the double digits in some areas. Meanwhile, the Rockies are getting hit with wintry weather and are expected to see 50-70 cm of snow as two-moisture-laden fronts move through. However, the warmth in the south will be short-lived as another blast of Arctic air will filter in by mid-week. For details, see below.

THROUGH TUESDAY: TEMPERATURE DIVIDE SEES WARMUP IN SOUTH, HEAVY SNOW IN ROCKIES

A ridge on the Prairies is helping to keep cold air on opposite sides of Alberta. A classic downsloping setup has taken shape, where strong winds have developed on the mountain tops -- gusting as high as 40-60 km/h along the foothills Monday -- and slide down the eastern side of the Rockies.

As they do, this allows for a nice bump in temperatures Monday afternoon, well above seasonal for this time of the year. Daytime highs will be in the upper single digits in the extreme south, even approaching or hitting the double digits in some locales.

ABTempSouth
ABTempSouth

On Tuesday, temperatures will drop slightly, but will still be above seasonal. Wind gusts may gust close to 70 km/h in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, winter storm warnings are in effect for the Banff and Jasper national park regions. A long duration snowfall event is underway, set to dump 50-70 cm of snowfall over portions of Highway 93 by Tuesday evening.

"Travel is not recommended. Road closures are likely. If you must travel, keep others informed of your schedule and destination and carry an emergency kit and mobile phone," Environment Canada says in the winter storm warning.

Beyond, the mild weather in southern Alberta will come to an end as another blast of Arctic air is expected to plunge south and spread east across the province by mid-week, followed by a reinforcing blast of Arctic air as we approach next weekend. The second week of February looks especially frigid across the Prairies.

Be sure to check back for the latest forecast for Alberta this week.