Wednesday, September 25th 2019, 8:17 pm - An early fall snowstorm could make for some treacherous winter travel across parts of the Prairies this weekend.
It'll shortly feel like the Prairies skipped a season, jumping directly to winter this weekend in the western Prairies, including a blast of measurable snow that will put some September snowfall records in jeopardy. We take a look at the abrupt change, and why there's concern for tree damage and power outages this weekend, below.
Visit our Complete Guide to Fall 2019 for an in-depth look at the Fall Forecast, tips to plan for it and a sneak peek at the winter ahead
- Downturn in temperatures begins Thursday; sharp drop into the weekend
- Snow begins late Friday, lasting through to late Sunday or early Monday
- Strong winds make for blizzard conditions in extreme southern parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan
- Stay on top of ALERTS in your area
WATCH BELOW: SNOW ROLLS INTO THE WESTERN PRAIRIES
For parts of the Prairies, this brewing storm has the potential to be talked about for years to come. Even the U.S. National Weather Service, which is watching its effects south of the international border, said it has the potential to become the 'new benchmark' in winter storm watches issued for parts of Montana.
Environment Canada also issued winter storm watches for parts of extreme southwestern Alberta, ahead of what is expected to be a long-duration snowfall event lasting from late Friday to early Monday morning, with hefty amounts along an area stretching from Alberta's southwest through to southern Saskatchewan.
"This may be the most snow you see through the fall, and even the winter, months through this season ahead," Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton said Wednesday evening.
Hamilton says there are parts of the high mountains of the southwest that could see 60 hours or more of snowfall, possibly racking up as much as a metre of snow over the duration. Most places won't come near that level, but amounts of 15-30 cm aren't out of the question for the worst-hit areas.
As mentioned, those amounts are likeliest in the southwest and along extreme southern parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan, with major cities like Calgary likely seeing only light snow. Watch the video below for what some of the models are saying in terms of amounts: