This week has been quite the air mass battle on the Prairies, and Wednesday will see a continuation of the story play out. The one difference is the snow that the cold air brought to parts of northern Alberta and B.C. will be tapering off. Some areas could see 5-10 cm, even as high as 20, by Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, parts of the southern Prairies are basking in summer-like heat once again. The warmth even set a new October record in Brandon, Man., which was Canada's hot spot Tuesday at close to 32°C. More records may be set on Wednesday as a few locales may hit the 30-degree mark. But it won't last much longer, with cooler air on the way late week. More on this sharp temperature divide that has marked this first week of October, below.
Visit our Complete Guide to Fall 2021 for an in-depth look at the Fall Forecast, tips to plan for it and much more!
THIS WEEK: HEAT HANGS ON IN EASTERN PRAIRIES, SNOW WINDS DOWN IN WEST
Wednesday will see the summer-like warmth hang on for central and southern Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Meanwhile, most of Alberta will be much cooler, thanks to a upper trough that also threw some Pacific moisture into the province and B.C. This resulted in heavy mountain snow for coastal ranges and the Rockies Tuesday.
But the wintry setup will begin to ease Wednesday morning in northeastern B.C. as snow begins to taper off. Snow will linger in northwestern Alberta through the afternoon hours before subsiding. Total snowfall accumulations will range from 5-10 cm for most areas, with near 20 cm for the communities of Hudson Hope, Chetwynd, and Tumbler Ridge in B.C.
Meanwhile, there will be some showers in northwestern Saskatchewan and northeastern Alberta, and possibly along the foothills west of QE 2 in the afternoon and evening, as the cold front slides east.
Snow and cold temperatures have been the story in northern sections of both provinces to start this week, but parts of the southern Prairies have been feeling some summer-like heat, and will continue to do so Wednesday.
In fact, the heat broke a monthly record in Brandon, Man., Tuesday -- hitting 31.7°C, just a tad over the previous value of 30.9°C.
Daytime highs will jump into the upper 20s, potentially reaching the 30-degree mark in one or two locales -- about 15 degrees above normal for this time in early October.
The summer-like sizzle will continue into Thursday for southern Manitoba, with highs in the mid- to upper 20s.
LOOK AHEAD: COOLER SPREAD EAST, POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW IN ALBERTA
Beyond, much cooler weather will continue to spread across the region late week, thanks to the deep upper trough, though temperatures will remain above seasonal into the weekend for southern sections.
For the Thanksgiving long weekend, forecasters are keeping their eyes on a low-pressure system that will develop over Alberta on Sunday. There is the potential for snow with this system, especially for the foothills and higher elevations.
The heaviest snow will fall in the foothills, but it is worth keeping an eye on future forecasts as it could creep into some lower elevations.
Temperatures will be rather chilly across the western Prairies next week.
Check back for the latest updates on the clash of the seasons across the Prairies.