(Rural Roots Canada) – We’re halfway through April,  but winter’s not done with us yet.   The week will start out mild, a continuation of the warmer than average weather from the weekend.   Within a couple of days, the weather turns, with rain, snow, blowing snow, cold weather, and strong wind likely in each of the three prairie provinces.   An upper trough of low pressure will swing down from the Arctic into western Canada and the northwestern United States.   At the surface, moisture will be drawn into the area from a Low that will meander through Wyoming and Colorado, before heading east later in the week. The combination of the cold air from the north and moisture from the south will generate the rain, snow, and bluster.

Seeding operations underway across the prairies will be disrupted for a few days, as the weather in some areas may not settle down again until the weekend.

As much as many of us would like to see the end of snow and cold weather, it will be beneficial.   The latest drought monitor shows little change in March as the weather in most areas remained dry.   There was considerable snowfall in southern Alberta in March, but it did little to correct the long-term moisture deficit there.

Courtesy: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

So, here’s how the week shapes up.  Get ready for a brief, but nasty, return to winter weather.

RELATED: The Consequences of Severe Drought for Alberta


This is the warmest, driest day of the week across the prairies.  An inverted trough extending north from a surface low in Colorado will draw mild air into the southern prairies.  It’s the same system, though, that will push moisture into the prairies later in the week.  Temperatures will climb to the mid teens in Saskatchewan and  Manitoba, with the potential to reach the low 20s in southern Alberta.   Northwest of Cochrane, in the Alberta foothills, rain will begin in the afternoon, turning to snow.  Snow and rain can also be expected along a west-east line in the far northern part of Alberta.


Early Tuesday morning, there is the potential for heavy snow in the foothills west of Calgary, and snow (blue) and rain (green) elsewhere on the prairies.

Courtesy: Pivotal Weather

If you look closely at the above map, you can see a developing low in Saskatchewan, and that will continue to generate moisture for the rest of the week.  In Saskatchewan on Tuesday, most of the rain and snow will fall north of Saskatoon,  and the south stays dry.    The map below shows expected temperatures Tuesday afternoon.  You can see cold air is infiltrating southern Alberta, and by the next day, it will push the warm air out of Saskatchewan:

Courtesy: Pivotal Weather


The area of precipitation grows tremendously, and while snow in Alberta tapers off, it becomes much more widespread across the northern 2/3rds of Saskatchewan.  This will be an exceptionally cold April day in Saskatchewan, with subzero temperatures across much of the province.  There will also be a very strong north wind through much of the day across Saskatchewan, making it feel even colder, and generating blowing snow that could produce travel difficulties.   The wind is wrapping around a Manitoba low that will generate rain through much of the day in Manitoba, though north of the lakes, there will be snow.


Alberta and southern Saskatchewan will be dry, but will remain cold.  Temperatures will be just above zero all day in Alberta and Manitoba, however temperatures will remain below freezing in Saskatchewan. The strong north wind will continue and could provide seriously cold conditions across Saskatchewan, especially in the early morning.   The rain ends in southern Manitoba, but snow continues to fall from the Interlake north to Nunavut.  Some of that snow will extend westward into northern and north central Saskatchewan.


The snow continues to taper off, and by the end of the day, there will be just a few flurries left in Northern Manitoba.  For all intents and purposes, the snow event ends, and the drying begins.  The sun will come out again across much of Alberta, though Saskatchewan and Manitoba will remain cloudy throughout the day.  It will  remain stubbornly cold, with temperatures staying near the freezing point all day, all across the region.

Saturday and Sunday:

The weekend will be sunny and dry across the prairies, and it’s likely seeding will be underway again.  Temperatures will finally rebound, reaching seasonal averages on Saturday, with above average temperatures on Sunday.  Alberta could warm to the mid-teens.

COMPARE TO LAST WEEK: Prairie Weather this Week: April 8