Calgary (Rural Roots Canada) – This week, the new North American Drought Monitor numbers and maps are expected, and it’s unlikely there will be any significant improvement over the past few months across the Canadian prairies. The map below shows southern Alberta had above average precipitation in January, but it was drier than normal in Saskatchewan.
There is encouraging news for this week. Snow is expected to fall across the prairies for at least part of the week, and while amounts will again be low, every snowflake counts. In fact, as the map below shows, almost all of Canada will get some snowfall this week:
However, if you look at the legend, you’ll see amounts across the prairies will be well under 10 cm.
Overall this week, we can expect below average temperatures in southern Alberta, east of highway 2, with warmer than normal weather in NE Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Expect below average precipitation in the Peace region, and light snow from time to time across the rest of the prairies.
Light snow falls Monday morning from Medicine Hat west to Claresholm. A clipper will form south of Longview, and head rapidly southeast. By midday, it will generate a line of snow from Claresholm to Edmonton. The snow will be light, and it won’t last long. Drier weather returns Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but on Sunday snow returns to most of the province. An Arctic high pressure system will strengthen over the Northwest Territories, and the circulation around it will cause an upslope snow situation for southern Alberta. However, there won’t be a strong moisture feed, so, again, snow amounts will likely be minimal. The Arctic high will also bring very cold air to Alberta, east of highway 2, with the possibility of high wind chill, beginning Sunday Feb 18.
A weak low will form in southwestern Saskatchewan, generating brief periods of heavier snow in the area early Tuesday. As the day goes on the band of snow will march eastward across the province, and by the end of Tuesday, almost all of Saskatchewan will have received some snow. The same system will continue into Manitoba, and most of that province will receive snow on Wednesday. Very cold weather and high wind chills will flood across Saskatchewan beginning Thursday, and continuing through the weekend. This is due to the arctic high in the Territories, which has the potential to stall, allowing the arctic air to deepen.
Like the other two prairie provinces, Manitoba is expecting snow. The weak Saskatchewan low will strengthen once it reaches western Manitoba on Wednesday. That will likely be the snowiest day, though a dry slot immediately south of the low in southwestern Manitoba may suppress snowfall amounts in the Brandon and Virden areas. And, again, very cold air and high wind chills are both possible, starting Thursday, and continuing into the weekend.
Some snowfall totals from last week (Feb 4 to Feb 11), as reported by CoCoRaHS:
Bragg Creek: 13.3 cm
Taylorville: 10.0 cm
Brooks: 6.0 cm
Dogpound: 5.5 cm
Limerick: 8.2 cm
Shaunavon: 7.6 cm
Conquest: 7.4 cm
Saskatoon: 5.2 cm
Waldersee: 2.2 cm
Steinbach: 2.0 cm
Brandon: 1.7 cm
Durban: 1.4 cm
FOR COMPARISON: Prairie Weather This Week