Clipper system bringing 'severe' wind, snow to southern Saskatchewan
Strong to severe winds are expected Wednesday and Thursday along with freezing rain, snow
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for southern Saskatchewan that remains in effect until late Thursday.
The agency said a clipper system is bringing strong to severe winds Wednesday and Thursday, along with a mix of wintry precipitation and blowing snow.
Meteorologist, Terri Lang with Environment Canada says "This is a typical Alberta Clipper weather pattern that we can get in January. The strong warm up ahead of the system followed by very strong wind gusts and cold air gushing in behind, very classic!"
Lang says a system like this forms in Alberta and quickly moves through Saskatchewan en route to Manitoba and beyond – thus the "clipper" title.
As for how it will develop Lang says "The system will move in from Alberta on Wednesday with freezing rain possible Wednesday morning over west central areas and by Wednesday afternoon over east central areas. Winds will increase sharply Wednesday afternoon with the highest winds gusts occurring in the Wednesday evening to midnight time frame."
The system will cross into Saskatchewan on Wednesday resulting in widespread strong winds of 60 km/h gusting to 80 across the southern half of the province, while some areas could see wind gusts up to 100 km/hr.
Environment Canada is unclear on the exact timing and location of the severe winds due to the changing nature of the system.
Lang says expect "Everything from freezing rain and heavy through central SK to strong winds over the south to near blizzard conditions over the southeast by Thursday morning."
Scattered rain showers, freezing rain and snow will also accompany the system including isolated snow squalls and banding could see local snowfall reaching five to 10 centimetres.
"With the strong winds ongoing across the south, visibility will be reduced at times due to snow and blowing snow," Environment Canada said in its weather statement.
The winds and lingering snow will taper off late Thursday as the system departs the prairies.
If you are planning to travel in the next two day it is recommended people check with the Saskatchewan Highway Hotline, with an Alberta Clipper visibility and road conditions can deteriorate quickly. Highway closures are a possibility.