Spring officially starts Thursday and while many Albertans are hoping for sunshine and warmth, the forecast is currently projecting there will be snow — and lots of it.

Environment Canada is predicting 15 centimetres to fall along the Rocky Mountains from Hinton down to Pincher Creek.

The communities under Environment Canada's snowfall warning are:

  • Banff National Park.
  • Crowsnest Pass, Pincher Creek, Waterton Lakes National Park.
  • Cypress Hills Provincial Park, Foremost.
  • Kananaskis, Canmore.

A low pressure system forming near Red Deer Wednesday afternoon will bring a cold front down along the Rockies, which will generate about five to 10 centimetres of snow.

Embedded heavy convective flurries will come along and behind the cold front, causing higher accumulation locally.

It's expected visibility could decline to less than 500 metres.

Heavy snowfall will continue through southwest Alberta through Thursday, ending around Friday morning in Pincher Creek.

Jasper will also see heavy snowfall overnight Wednesday but that is expected to end Thursday morning.