Southern Alberta braces for snow

Backcountry skiers are being warned of avalanche danger this weekend in the mountains west of Calgary because of a Pacific rain system called the Pineapple Express. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Snow is in the forecast for most of southern Alberta as a winter storm warning was issued for the area Saturday, including the City of Calgary.

Strong winds and anywhere from 10 to 15 centimetres of snow is in the forecast for Calgary Sunday, and another five centimetres could fall on Monday.

The city says gravel trucks and snow plows are on standby.

"So what we are doing is we have notified all crew that they could get calls in so that we can respond 24/7 if we get this snow early in the morning.... We are doing all checks on our equipment and we have all equipment ready to go in the event that we get this spring storm," said city spokesperson Kelly Dyer.

Dyer says it's too early to know if a snow route parking ban will be put into effect.

A heavy snowfall warning has been issued for Banff National Park, with a further 10 to 20 centimetres of snowfall expected this weekend.

Officials at Sunshine Village say the ski hill located near Banff got 42 centimetres of fresh powder in the last 24 hours.

"What a tremendous way to kick off the month of March," said Dave Riley, Sunshine's chief operating officer.

Officials said the new snow is attributed to the Pineapple Express system converging over the Rocky Mountains.

"This new snow has provided epic conditions for skiers and riders this weekend and leading into the spring ski season."

But Alberta backcountry enthusiasts are being warned about an avalanche danger this weekend.

The risk in Kananaskis and the south Rockies is rated as considerable to high.