Calgary (Rural Roots Canada) – The week ahead:   How it begins (Monday PM):

How it ends: (Friday PM):

After a snow-stormy weekend across the southern prairies, the wet weather moves east, to be replaced by Arctic high pressure.  So, it will be dry.   It will also be cold.  Much colder than average weather will persist from BC to Manitoba until Friday.  Chinook conditions will set up Friday, bringing warmer weather across the prairies, especially to Alberta.   Because of the cold weather, there will be very little change in snow depth over the next few days.  Little new snow is expected, and sunshine will cause only a tiny amount of surface snow to evaporate.   Melting in southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan resumes with the onset of Friday’s chinook.

The weekend brought welcome snow to the prairies, but a lot more is still needed to relieve the drought conditions in any meaningful way.    There are very few Environment Canada or partner weather stations where snow depth is still measured by a human with a ruler.   Calgary is one of them, and 24 cm of snow was measured over the four days of Feb 29-Mar 3.   Most official weather stations no longer take snow measurements, so we have to rely on volunteer observations from the CoCoRaHS network.

As this goes to publication, a winter storm is winding down across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, so final snow totals are not yet available.   There are unofficial reports, though, of 20 to 40 cm of snow as far NW as Saskatoon, and across western Manitoba.

This is the first full week of Meteorological spring (March, April, May), and here’s how it looks across the prairies:

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Expect negative double digit temperatures to persist through Wednesday, when moderate warming begins ahead of Friday’s chinook event.   The cold weather will be accompanied by minor snowfalls Monday afternoon from Fort McMurray to High Level, and in the foothills of southern Alberta.  It will be rather windy in the south on Monday. The wind will come out of the southeast, circulating around a High pressure system in east central Alberta.    Scattered flurries will fall across central and southern Alberta Wednesday.  Thursday’s dry across southern Alberta, then chinook conditions develop Friday, with highs above zero all across the province.   High Level could even see temperatures above the melting point!   The chinook will end with a cold front Sunday morning.  It won’t be a particularly strong front, and temperatures will retreat to just a few degrees below freezing.


In the wake of the big weekend snowstorm, Saskatchewan will dry out Monday, except for the far north, where remnant snow will continue to fall through the day.   Temperatures will remain well below average, in the minus teens and 20s through Wednesday.  There is a chance of snow along the Trans Canada highway west of Regina Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.  That band of snow could stretch south to Glasgow, Montana.  It will then strengthen and move northeast, and Regina, Saskatoon, Melfort and Yorkton could see snow through much of the day on Wednesday.   That band of snow could extend northwest as far as Meadow Lake.   That snow is done by Thursday, and very cold weather resumes, under a ridge of high pressure centred over Chamberlain.    Temperatures will moderate over the weekend, as a westerly flow develops, and we could see temperatures above the melting point across southern Saskatchewan Saturday and Sunday.


The Colorado low that brought winter storm conditions to much of southern Manitoba Sunday will move toward Hudson Bay, and will continue to produce significant snow over the Lakes and as far north as York Factory throughout Monday.  As the storm moves northeast, those areas will eventually dry out, but not until Monday night.    The rest of the week will be cold, with the next band of snow coming in Wednesday afternoon.   That band of snow will move from the southwest to northeast, affecting all of southern Manitoba from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday morning.  Once that’s gone, it’s dry through the weekend, with temperatures climbing above the melting point by Sunday.

COMPARE LAST WEEK’S REPORT: Prairie Weather this Week – Feb 26