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100+ km/h winds blast western Alberta ahead of steep temp drops

Friday, October 25th 2019, 3:55 pm - Plummeting temperatures and piercing winds -- the Prairie forecast is going from mild to wild, and quick.

After one more day of pleasant fall conditions for most of the Prairies, a swath of snow and plummeting temperatures will send the region right back into early winter for this weekend. We take a look at where the heaviest snow will fall, and who's in line for a nearly 20-degree temperature drop in a matter of just 24 hours, below.


WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • System tracks east across the Prairies Friday, bringing rain to start and switching over to light snow
  • Strong winds develop for southwest Alberta Friday, gusts 100+ km/h expected through late afternoon
  • Low brings snow to northern Manitoba by Saturday, widespread cooldown with reinforcing cold shot early next week
  • Stay up-to-date on the ALERTS in your area

WICKED WINDS LASH WESTERN ALBERTA

Wind warnings are in effect along the foothills and through much of central Alberta on Friday, as wind gusts 100 km/h and higher whip down from the Rockies. Numerous power outages were reported by Fortis Alberta on Friday afternoon as winds in the Pincher Creek area gusted up to 113 km/h. Earlier in the day, some alpine wind gusts reportedly exceeded 150 km/h.

WATCH BELOW: THE MOMENT SUSPENDED WINDOW WASHER PLATFORM CRASHING INTO EDMONTON BUILDING

Nanton RCMP are advising of an “extreme driving hazard” in and around the community, according to Lethbridge News Now, stating the RCMP attachment advised travellers to "proceed with caution" amid slow-moving traffic in these areas.

Vicious winds are also spurring multiple grass fires in the High River area, north of Highway 540.

Just as things were looking up with pleasant and above seasonal temperatures, quickly tumbling daytime highs will turn things from mild to wild across much of the Prairies through this weekend.

Powerful winds and a swath of snow could also impact Friday's commute times for some, although the heaviest accumulations are expected to stay restricted well to the north and into the mountains.

"A messy mix of precipitation will spread across northern and central Alberta on Friday, though the city of Edmonton will likely see less than 5 cm of snowfall through the weekend," says Weather Network meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal.

PRSnow (3)

Environment Canada issued snowfall warnings for west-central sections of the province, with significant accumulations expected along the central and northern foothills. The warnings caution travellers to "prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions," as rain changes to snow through Friday afternoon.

The fast-moving system will push east into Saskatchewan with areas north and east of Saskatoon in for a snowy Friday afternoon as well, though these accumulations should remain largely north of the Yellowhead.

WATCH BELOW: ALBERTA SKI HILL MAKES HISTORY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 32 YEARS

TEMPERATURES PLUNGE INTO THE WEEKEND

Behind the low, conditions turn much colder across all three Prairie provinces. Afternoon highs on Friday will still be in the teens across much of the region, with some temperatures edging over to the 20-degree mark.

A very different story is in store for Saturday, however, as cold air comes crashing down from the north. High temperatures will plunge nearly 20 degrees between Friday and Saturday across the southern Prairies, with a drop of 10 to 15 degrees elsewhere.

prsattemps

A reinforcing shot of even colder weather will spread across the Prairies early next week, bringing temperatures much more typical of late November and early December with wind chills in the minus double digits for some.

PrairieTuesday

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