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Bitter chill incoming for the Prairies after quick weekend snow

Saturday, December 4th 2021, 6:20 pm - Saturday's quick-hitting dose of winter precedes a bitter chill that’ll sweep much of the Prairies by Monday.

The snow that spread over the southern Prairies Saturday will be clearing out by Sunday, but once people have had a chance to clear their driveways, they should be sure to get the parkas out. Bitterly cold Arctic air will flood southward to end the weekend, spilling into Monday, with daytime highs near or below -20°C for parts of the eastern Prairies possible, feeling even colder with the wind chill. More on that impending deep freeze, below.

Visit our Complete Guide to Winter 2022 for an in-depth look at the Winter Forecast, tips to plan for it, and much more!


A low-pressure system over the northern United States tracked near enough to the international border to spread modest snowfall totals over the southern Prairies Saturday.

By the time it finishes, southern parts of the region can expect 5-10 cm of snow, with locally higher amounts possible. Places like Calgary and Regina will pick up no more than 5 cm, and more northern communities like Red Deer and Saskatoon look likely to escape altogether.

PRairie snow

The system begins clearing out Sunday, largely ending by Monday morning except perhaps for a few wayward flakes in eastern Manitoba.

Clear skies don't necessarily mean desirable weather, however: Arctic air will sink southward by the late weekend into early Monday, bringing parts of the Prairies their coldest temperatures since the depths of last winter.


Bitterly cold daytime highs at or below -20°C are possible for parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba by Monday. Conditions will feel as cold as, or even colder than, -30 for some when you factor in the winds.

However, milder Pacific air looks to act as a bit of a spoiler at times over the coming days, and that will especially be true with this early-week blast of Arctic chill. While the eastern Prairies are set to shiver, Alberta and parts of southwestern Saskatchewan will be considerably less cold. Some parts of southwestern Alberta may even come within a stone's throw of 0°C.

Those who aren't ready for this kind of deep freeze yet can hang on until mid-week, when temperatures are set to rebound.

Thumbnail courtesy of Doug Elmhurst

Check back as we continue to monitor this frigid Prairie forecast.

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