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Snowy start to the Easter weekend, double-digit highs to finish it off

As expected, Thursday began with a brief weather setback when a low-pressure system in central Alberta brought snow and mixed precipitation to the region.

Daytime highs (0 C in Calgary) happened early in the morning Thursday and north winds created a gap between the air temperature and the “feels like” temperature, with wind chill values around -8 to -10 for areas like Calgary, Drumheller and Brooks.

Impacts on travel were measurable throughout the morning on Thursday and likely to get worse.

Driving conditions continued to deteriorate Thursday, per 511 Alberta. Snow-covered and icy routes were reported in central and northern Alberta as of 10 a.m. March 28, 2024. (CTV News)

The 511 Alberta map showed road conditions in portions of the province as bare and dry at 7 a.m. and snow-covered and icy by 10 a.m., with corresponding 511 Alberta highway cameras reflecting winter-driving conditions.

Central Alberta highway cameras from 511 Alberta at 10 a.m., March 28, 2024. (CTV News)

As that low tracks south Thursday and amplifies the upsloping component, heavier snowfall accumulations are expected in some areas, including along major commuter corridors like the QEII and Yellowhead (Highway 16) highways.

Calgary is forecast to receive a total of two to four centimetres of snow on Thursday and Friday, compared to regions in central Alberta which are along the cold front.

A snowfall warning issued Friday for Hinton, Jasper and Nordegg had been dropped by 10 a.m., and no other weather advisories were in place in Alberta.

With the progression of this system, areas in southwestern Alberta – including the Highway 22 corridor – could also see higher snowfall rates late Thursday. That low is expected to remain problematic east of the province developing into an Alberta Clipper by the weekend.

Despite the widespread instability Thursday, Friday is forecast to be Calgary’s coldest day of the Easter weekend with a daytime high 11 C below average.

Sunshine will return on Saturday, as a strong ridge of high pressure enters B.C. and Alberta.

On Monday, Calgary’s daytime high will hit 10 C – the warmest temperature since mid-March – and Tuesday could easily hit 17 C.

Calgary’s five-day forecast for March 28-April 1, 2024. (CTV News)

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