Fashionably late: Winter storm to hit Edmonton area — finally

Environment Canada issued snowfall warnings on Thursday and Friday, but Edmonton’s streets and sidewalks remained clear. CBC weather specialist Frank Cavallaro said the warnings were premature because the system from the West Coast stalled in southern Alberta.

Snowfall warnings were premature as the weather system stalled in southern Alberta, weather specialist says

A winter storm will move into the Edmonton region this weekend. (Peter Evans/CBC)

After two days of false alarms, Edmonton is finally being hit by a snowstorm, albeit less powerfully than predicted.

Environment Canada issued weather warnings on Thursday and Friday, but streets and sidewalks in central and northern Alberta remained clear.

CBC weather specialist Frank Cavallaro said the warnings were premature because the system from the West Coast stalled in southern Alberta.

"Originally it was supposed to move rapidly. That's why the warnings have been in effect for a couple of days," he said.

"It needs a push. Just picture a top that's spinning, and it's spinning very slowly to the north. This is why there's less snow expected over previously forecast."

It was originally predicted that 25 centimetres of snow would fall in a 48-hour period beginning on Thursday. But now Edmontonians can expect to see less than half that.

And while the storm won't be as nasty as originally predicted, Cavallaro said 10 centimetres of snow is significant in March. He also said people need to be wary of the wind.

Weather warnings are in effect across the province. (Environment Canada)

"The problem we're going to have now is, as it spins and moves over into Saskatchewan, it's going to bring easterly winds — 30 to 50 kilometres per hour — and that's going to result in some blowing snow ... which, of course, can cause some problems with flights," he said. 

"And if you're driving, that could be reducing your visibility as well."

Winter storm warnings remained in effect for Hanna and Lloydminster, with snowfall warnings in effect for the southern half of the province Friday night.

Cavallaro said the storm will hit the Edmonton area hardest on Saturday before making its way into Saskatchewan.