Winter makes its way back to Alberta with snow and plunging temperatures

Digital WritersThe Weather Network
Digital Writers

Alberta's snowless January ends with difficult travel conditions and plunging temperatures kicking off the weekend

After nearly an entire month without any snow, parts of southern Alberta will make up for lost time on Friday. In fact, Calgary will see more snow on Friday than the entire month combined.

The city has picked up nearly 70 cm of snow this season, which is close to the seasonal average of 72 cm through this point in the winter. However, almost all of that snow fell in October, November, and December, with only 1.4 cm recorded for January as of Thursday.

Baron - Calgary snow normal - Jan 26

Warmer temperatures and a relative lack of storm systems tracking across the province are to blame for this lull in the snowy conditions.

But now, as cold air and a dynamic jet stream take hold, this will kickstart a series of clipper systems, bringing snow back into the province. Some areas will see the most significant snowfall totals since the middle of December.

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Baron - Alberta snow - Jan27

Bursts of snow picked up through the overnight hours on Thursday and will continue to make travel difficult across southern routes in Alberta and parts of the QE2 near Calgary on Friday.

A widespread swath of 2-5 cm of snow is expected, with higher amounts expected along the QE2 and west toward the Rockies.Between 5-15+ cm is along the foothills, with locally heavier totals possible in the extreme southern foothills.

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Widespread snow will continue through the morning before easing to flurries through Friday afternoon and departing by the weekend.

Temperatures will hover close to the freezing mark on Friday before the atmospheric floodgates swing open and allow frigid air to pour south from the Arctic.

Temperatures through this weekend will dive well into the minus double digits and teens, with subfreezing temperatures in the forecast through next week.

Baron - Alberta temperatures - Jan27

While the chill will descend on Alberta, the eastern Prairies will bear the brunt of the extreme cold with daytime highs only reaching -20°C for some communities.

Be sure to check back for the latest weather updates across Alberta.

*Thumbnail image courtesy: Anne/Twitter