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Spring storm could bring up to 20 cm of snow to southern Alberta

It’s good news for farmers, ranchers and firefighters but bad news for motorists who may have already swapped out those winter tires: a blast of cold and wet spring weather could bring up to 20 centimetres of snow to some parts of southern Alberta this week.

The Calgary area is currently under an Environment Canada special weather statement.

“Calgary will see a mix of rain and snow starting this afternoon and lasting for periods on and off until Friday,” Global Calgary weather specialist Courtney Stanfield says. “Snowfall amounts will vary depending on elevation but areas in the city’s northwest could see up to 12 centimetres. Temperatures are forecast to be above freezing this week so it won’t accumulate.”

Farther west, more significant snowfall is possible. Environment Canada forecasts that up to 20 cm of snow could fall by Thursday morning, with the highest amounts falling west of Highway 2.

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“It will be heavy, wet snow mixed with rain so snowfall amounts will vary greatly,” Stanfield says. “Higher elevations could see 20 cm of snow.”

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While there is also snow in the forecast for the Red Deer and Lethbridge areas, there is no snow in the forecast for the Edmonton area, only rain and showers.

The wet weather will be a welcome development for the province’s agriculture industry as much of the province is still experiencing drought conditions, according to the province’s latest Agriculture Moisture Situation Update.

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“Currently soil moisture reserves are well below normal throughout most of the agricultural areas.”

While the snow may cause some problems for some motorists who have already swapped out their winter tires for the summer, the Alberta Motor Association says late April or early May is normally the best time to make the swap. In a statement to Global News, the AMA says that “once the average daily temperature averages 7C or higher, winter tires are no longer needed.”

The daytime high in Calgary is only forecast to be a few degrees above zero on Wednesday and Thursday, but Stanfield says the forecast is for a return to more seasonable temperatures just in time for the weekend.

“Temperatures will start to warm up again Friday,” Stanfield says, “with highs closer to our seasonal normal of 14 for this time of year.”

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While the snow may seem uncommon, Stanfield says it is not unusual because “March and April are typically the snowiest months of the year.”

&© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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