Ring in the New Year with an Alberta Clipper snowfall

Watch above: Global Edmonton weather specialist Margeaux Morin has a forecast for New Year’s Eve and beyond!

EDMONTON – Almost immediately after we ring in the New Year, an Alberta Clipper weather system will drop considerable snow across Western Canada. Timed to start in British Columbia and the Alberta foothills by the afternoon on New Year’s Day, some communities at higher elevations could see 30-40 cm fall by early next week.

Global News

An Alberta Clipper is a quick moving winter storm system that typically produces modest amounts of snow due to a lack of energizing moisture in the lee side (Alberta side) of the Rocky Mountains. Getting its name from quick moving clipper ships,

“The system tends to pick up speed as it travels across Alberta and can bring severe winter weather to southern Alberta and the Northern US,” explained Global Edmonton’s chief meteorologist Nicola Crosbie.

That is not the case this week as this system will act uncharacteristically, dropping substantial snow to north-eastern British Columbia and north-western Alberta before continuing on its south-easterly track. True to its form, this Alberta Clipper will behave predictably, ushering cold temperatures and high winds in its wake.

“Temperatures are dropping due an Arctic air mass descending from the north.  Changing air pressure will result in gusty winds and therefore, blowing snow. The blowing snow will polish the surface of the roads and reduce visibility greatly,” said Crosbie.

Factor in the overnight wind chill values exceeding -35, and we will get very dangerous winter driving conditions.

The city of Edmonton will likely pick up 15-25 cm by the end of the weekend, with the majority of the white stuff falling between Thursday afternoon and Friday evening.


During the same time frame, Thursday to Sunday, the cities of Red Deer and Calgary will avoid most of the impact of this storm, picking up 5-15 cm. Communities such as Grande Prairie and Edson will experience treacherous winter driving conditions as they pick up 15-20 cm on Thursday alone.

Skiers and snowboarders are seeing the silver lining of this winter weather situation.

“The good news is for the ski resorts in B.C., such as Kicking Horse and Revy, which are forecast to pick up 20 – 30 cm of fresh powder,” said Crosbie.

Alberta resort communities such as Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper will see 10-20 cm by Sunday with snowfall continuing in the Rockies through to next week.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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