Winter comes early: Blast of cold air hits Alberta, Prairies

Residents of Alberta and parts of the Prairies are getting a pre-winter blast of cold air this week, thanks to the remnants of Typhoon Nuri.

15-20 centimetres of snow forecast for parts of northern Ontario

Alberta and parts of the Prairies take the first nasty hit of winter as cold air blankets the region, says CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland 2:49

Residents of Alberta and parts of the Prairies are getting a blast of cold air as part of some harsh pre-winter weather this week.

The temperature in Calgary, where it was –14 C at 10 a.m. MT, was expected to slip to –17 C by the afternoon. Wind from the north will make it feel like –29 C. Nightly lows are expected to be –20 C or below for the week, and the temperature is not expected to return above freezing before Saturday.

Cold weather will affect much of the Canada and the United States as plunge in the jet stream allows Arctic air to dip south. (CBC Weather Centre)

Edmonton will have high temperatures in the minus double digits all week.

Saskatchewan will experience similarly frosty temperatures through the weekend.

CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland said the driving force behind the blast of cold air is the remnants of Typhoon Nuri, which pushed into the area of the Bering Sea over the weekend and that resulted in a big dip in the jet stream.

"This [dip] will continue to push east through the week as well, so even having an effect on parts of northeastern Ontario and in through northern Quebec," Scotland said. "That dip in the jet stream essentially allows that very cold Arctic air to the north that's been dubbed the polar vortex, to dip to the south and drop temperatures well below seasonal."

Scotland warned that the combination of wind and cold temperatures creates the risk of frostbite to exposed skin.

Environment Canada has also issued snowfall warnings for northern Ontario ranging from the eastern end of Lake Superior over to Timmins and Cochrane.

Snow is expected to begin in the afternoon and continue through Tuesday with 15 to 20 centimetres expected to pile up.

Environment Canada also posted a special weather statement indicating the freezing rain is possible on Tuesday from northwestern Quebec to the St. Lawrence Valley.

Parts of U.S. 'locked in winter's grip' 

In the United States, the National Weather Service warned that the wet, frigid weather that hit parts of Montana and the Dakotas with up to 7.5 centimetres of snow on Sunday would move into Minnesota and Wisconsin on Monday.

Minnesota and north-central Wisconsin were expected to see about 30 centimetres of snow, with more near Lake Superior. Such an accumulation would surpass in one storm what northern Wisconsin usually gets in the entire month of November.

Some school districts in Minnesota and South Dakota cancelled classes.

Snow was expected to end Tuesday, but cold air will be around for a while, said Joe Calderone, a senior forecaster for the National Weather Service.

"We're kind of getting locked in winter's grip here," said Troy Kleffmen, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Aberdeen, S.D.​

With files from The Associated Press

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