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Brace for early winter driving, rounds of snow take aim at Alberta

Tuesday, October 13th 2020, 7:50 pm - Alberta sees its first bout of snow this week.

As the week continues, the cold, arctic air continues to bring accumulating snow across Alberta. While autumn snow certainly isn't unheard of throughout the province, the quick change in conditions may be enough to catch some drivers off guard this week. More on the snow timing and impact, below.


  • Rounds of snow impact Alberta this week, first through Wednesday and then again Friday
  • Snowfall warnings in effect for Banff and Jasper National Park, with up to 20 cm forecast through Wednesday
  • Snow spills down into southern Alberta late Tuesday night, few centimetres not out of the question for Calgary and Medicine Hat


A potent system that threatens damaging winds through parts of British Columbia will track over the Rockies bringing heavy snow to Alberta's mountain areas as well. That's as cold air spreads east of the Rockies and persists across the Prairies through much of the week.

Snowfall warnings are in effect for both Banff and Jasper National Park, with up to 20 cm possible for the region by Wednesday afternoon.

AB Snow

"We can't rule out a few centimetres of snow between Calgary and Red Deer through Wednesday morning," says Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton, adding that areas like Canmore and Sundre are also likely to see the flakes fly.

The snow associated with this system is set to wrap up on Wednesday evening, with eyes on the next snowmaker later in the week.


With the cooler air already in place, and several reinforcing shots of arctic air, the next bout of precipitation on Friday will also arrive in the form of snow to close out the work week.

"This time it targets regions a little bit further north, so Edmonton, you can join the snow club on Friday afternoon," Hamilton says.

Forecasters are closely watching for an "overachieve potential," which would bring 5-10+ cm of snow to the Edmonton area on Friday. Much more significant snow amounts are expected for the higher terrain in the Rockies, but 10-20+ cm could also fall in parts of the foothills and adjacent areas from Grande Prairie to Hinton and Whitecourt.

By the pre-dawn hours on Saturday, more snow reaches parts of southern Alberta as a cold area of high pressure descends from northern Canada.

While autumn snow isn't unheard of in Alberta at this time of year, even northern sections of the province have been sitting above seasonal for most of this month. Therefore, drivers are urged to adjust to the changing conditions and be prepared for any quickly accumulating snow at times.

Thumbnail courtesy: Braydon Morisseau

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