Brace yourselves, southern Albertans, for up to 25 cm of snow
'This is quite a potent system that's coming through,' says meteorologist
Calgary will see its first major snowfall this season on Friday with a forecast of five to 10 centimetres of snow, and some mountain regions are expected to receive up to 25 centimetres by Saturday.
Temperatures in the city may reach a low of –5 C on Friday. Environment Canada issued public weather alerts for Banff National Park and Kananaskis-Canmore areas. Albertans in these areas may start to see snow Thursday night.
Kyle Fougere, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said the low pressure system coming to southern Alberta will likely start as rain but turn into snow overnight on Thursday with the cold temperatures.
"There is going to be some variability, even probably across the city with the system. But it is looking like it's going to be the first significant snowfall of the year for the Calgary area," Fougere said.
According to Fougere, it's typical to see the first significant snowfall in southern Alberta before the end of October. However, the coming snow will be a shift from the relatively mild October that Calgary has experienced so far this year.
"This is going to be a pretty big change," he said.
Fougere said the snow is likely going to stick around into the weekend.
This heavy snowfall comes to southern Alberta right on Halloween weekend. In a news release, the City of Calgary recommended those planning to go out this weekend get winter tires for their vehicles and plan extra travel time for any outings.
The city said it is monitoring weather forecasts and crews are preparing to handle the snow.
In its weather alert notice, Environment Canada reminded Albertans to adjust their driving to changing road conditions as heavy snow may reduce visibility. Drivers should turn their lights on and keep a safe distance from other cars.
To report severe weather, Albertans can email Environment Canada at ABstorm@canada.ca or tweet using the hashtag #ABStorm.
Fougere said southern Albertans should keep up to date with weather alerts as Environment Canada could expand its warnings as the weather system develops.
"This is quite a potent system that's coming through," he said.
For more information and forecasts, visit the Environment Canada website.