(Rural Roots Canada) – Everything you’ve heard about a return to nasty winter weather later this week……is probably true.   After several days of record setting warmth, a sharp cold front powered by a Polar Vortex will sweep across the prairies, causing temperatures to plunge, snow to fall, and wind to blow. Storms, and even blizzards are possible in parts of the prairies this week.   The cold front is expected to pass into southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba Tuesday morning, and through southern Alberta on Wednesday.  By Thursday, even the high temperatures across the prairies will be in the negative double digits, and will likely stay there for as long as a week.   Blizzard conditions could develop Monday evening across northeastern Manitoba,  and snow will fall across the southern prairies, starting in Alberta Wednesday, and stretching eastward to Manitoba through the rest of the week.

Snowfall will be significant, at a time when it is badly needed across the parched prairie.    But, there will be at least a week of very cold weather.  As mentioned, the cold weather arrives midweek, but these  first two maps show temperatures expected across western Canada, first thing Saturday morning:

Courtesy; pivotalweather.com


Courtesy; pivotalweather.com

Snowfall to Sunday evening will be significant.  20-30 cm in southern Alberta, 15-20 cm in southern Saskatchewan, and 10-20 cm in southern Manitoba.   Beyond Sunday evening it will likely continue to snow, especially in Manitoba, into the following week. Note from the maps below that most of the heavier snow will fall south of the Yellowhead Highway, into the northern US.

Courtesy; pivotalweather.com
Courtesy: pivotalweather.com

All the maps shown above display data from the GDPS Canadian model,  from pivotalweather.com

It is, of course, hoped that this snowfall will melt fairly quickly after the arctic air disappears,  but that may not happen until April begins.   The snow should provide helpful soil moisture for planting season.  Whether it will be enough remains to be seen.

READ MORE: Planting During Drought: Agronomist Offers Tips Heading into Plant24


The upper ridge over the northwestern United States that brought us the weekend warmth and sunshine will stick around, providing above average temperatures across the prairies for one more day.   Temperatures will reach the teens in southern Alberta,  double digits in central Alberta and southern Saskatchewan, and positive single digits in southern Manitoba.   It will be dry and mainly sunny all across the southern prairies.


Eastern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba will have another mainly sunny day, as clouds move in across central and southern Alberta, as far east as Swift Current, and perhaps Chaplin.  Some afternoon cloud and very light snow could hit parts of southwestern Manitoba, south of the Trans Canada highway, near the Saskatchewan boundary.   By late afternoon, temperatures in all three prairie provinces will have fallen below zero, with the cold front having passed through earlier in the day.


Subzero temperatures will persist across the southern prairies, with the coldest weather in eastern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba.    Chinook conditions will develop across Montana, and some of that warmer air may make it as far north as Lethbridge.  There is a possibility of above zero temperatures south of highway 3 across southern Alberta.   The rest of the province will freeze, and north of the Highway 3 chinook zone, we can expect snow to begin.    The snow will stretch into southern Saskatchewan as far north as Rosetown, and east to Moose Jaw.  A strong easterly wind will develop, generating upslope conditions necessary for significant snow in the foothills, and blowing snow conditions from Medicine Hat and Oyen toward Moose Jaw.


Subzero temperatures continue across the prairies, and southern Alberta loses its chinook.   Morning snow will fall across southern parts of all three provinces, especially along the US border.  The snow will taper off during the day in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, but will persist in southern Alberta, driven by the upslope wind.


Just when you thought it couldn’t get colder….it does.   Temperatures across the prairies will remain in the negative double digits through the day, as arctic air becomes entrenched and stalled over the region.   And, snow continues to fall in southern Alberta, east of Highway 2, and into southwestern Saskatchewan.

Saturday and Sunday:

There will be little change on the weekend, with minus double digit temperatures continuing in Alberta and Saskatchewan, with slightly warmer conditions expected in southern Manitoba, though temperatures there will remain below zero.   The warmer weather is due to a low pressure system in Kansas, which will also push more snow into Southern Manitoba on Sunday.

Photos, PLEASE!

We’d love to see some photos of the upcoming winter weather.  If and when it is safe, please snap a photo or two, and send them to us, and we may publish them in next week’s weekly weather outlook.  You can send them to @ctvdavidspence on Twitter, or by e-mail to ruralrootscanada@gmail.com.   Can’t wait to see your pictures!

COMPARE LAST WEEK:  Prairie Weather this Week – March 11


1 Comment

1 Comment

Comments are closed.