Warnings expand in Alberta as snowfall gets underway

Warnings expand in Alberta as snowfall gets underway

Monday, September 8, 2014, 8:49 AM –

FALL OUTLOOK 2014: Watch The Weather Network on TV for the launch of our fall seasonal forecast (and a peek at winter) on Monday, September 8, at 9:05 p.m. Eastern.

The pleasant weather of Sunday is a distant memory Monday morning, as temperatures plummet and snow starts moving into western and central Alberta.

Yes, snow, in early September, is the order of the week until Wednesday. Although amounts aren’t expected to be significant, it’ll be noticeable, as the flakes will be falling when people will be on the roads.

Some parts of the province have already seen small trace amounts, including the airport in Edmonton, the first time snow has been recorded at that site in September since 2004.

Snowfall warnings were already in effect in parts of western Alberta, but early Monday morning they were drastically expanded, extending further south right down to Calgary’s doorstep, although the city itself is not currently in a warning.

It’s important to note that, although driving may be tricky for the unwary in areas where there is accumulation or a rain-snow mix, this is no winter blizzard. 

Amounts aren’t expected to exceed 5 cm in the most areas, although higher elevations could reach the 10 cm mark.

But although Calgary is not in a warning, it sits squarely within the rain-snow mixing zone.

“Look for Calgary to switch over to snow this afternoon, with the highest snowfall amounts north and west of the city centre,” Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton said early Monday morning.

There’s another round on the way to the city by Tuesday evening, lasting into Wednesday morning and being mostly snow, rather than a mix.

The amounts won’t be much but, again, it’ll be a good idea for motorists to keep alert during the morning and evening commutes.

The good news is, although it is certainly cooler than seasonal norms, temperatures are still at the level where most snow at lower elevations is likely to melt shortly after hitting the ground.

But it is certainly colder, and the temperature drop was abrupt. In Calgary, a balmy 25-degree Sunday has plummetted down to the mid single digits, and it’s likely to stay that way.

“As the Arctic high pressure system sags south, it funnels modified Arctic air into southern Alberta,” Hamilton says. “Calgary will struggle to reach plus 3oC on Wednesday.”

TUNE IN: Margeaux Morin will have live updates from the region Monday and Tuesday. If it’s safe to do so, upload your own pictures and videos here.

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