Winter storm in the forecast for much of northern Alberta: Environment Canada

A winter storm warning is in effect for much of northern Alberta for Monday, while southern Alberta may experience a sudden period of strong winds and some precipitation.

Southern Alberta can expect strong winds, brief period of rain or snow

Edmonton endured three weeks of freezing rain, heavy snow and extreme cold between December and January. (David Bajer/CBC)

A winter storm watch is in effect for much of northern Alberta for Monday, while southern Alberta may experience a sudden period of strong winds and some precipitation.

Environment Canada forecasts wintry weather in the northern half of the province Monday, from the Peace River-Fairview-High Prairie-Manning region through to the Lloydminster-Wainwright-Vermilion-Provost area.

Heavy snow, freezing rain, strong winds, blowing snow and a sudden drop in temperatures are expected in the affected regions, Environment Canada said.

Freezing rain will start sometime Sunday night between Grande Prairie, Alta., and Edmonton. The rain will move eastward during the daytime, falling on the Edmonton area in the morning before hitting the Lloydminster area by the afternoon.

The freezing rain will change to snow in most areas by the evening.

Motorists should expect icy conditions on area highways, including highways 2, 16 and 43, Environment Canada said.

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm watch, shown in yellow, for much of northern Alberta. A special weather statement has been issued for most of southern Alberta. (Environment Canada)

As the snow pulls off, strong northwest winds with gusts up to 70 kilometres per hour, as well as a rapid drop in temperature, are forecast to develop.

The winds will cause poor visibility in blowing snow in the afternoon and evening, but should die down overnight.

Temperature drops of 10 C to 15 C can occur within a short period of time, so wet surfaces from the earlier precipitation may re-freeze, Environment Canada warns.

Strong winds to blow in southern Alberta

Environment Canada has also issued a special weather statement for the southern half of the province.

From the Nordegg-Forestry Trunk Road Highway 734 area to Alberta's southeast corner, strong winds, snow and blowing snow and a rapid drop in temperatures are expected Monday night.

Northwest winds gusting up to 70 km/h will start along the central Foothills on Monday evening before moving southeast. The winds will strengthen throughout the night, with gusts up to 90 km/h expected in southeastern Alberta by midnight.

The winds should calm down by Tuesday morning, however.

Around the time the winds initially pick up, a brief period of rain or snow is expected to fall. This could result in sudden reduced or zero visibility conditions, then, possibly, drifting or blowing snow until the winds calm down.

Temperatures will drop suddenly when the winds start. Environment Canada warns that wet surfaces may freeze during that time, causing icy conditions.