Spring storm may dump 25 cm of snow on parts of Alberta this weekend

Parts of Alberta may see up to 25 centimetres of snow this weekend, bringing a chilly, wet break from the spring weather.

So let’s hope you haven’t packed up the parkas yet.

A “vigorous low-pressure system” is expected to swing through the province starting Friday with a mix of rain and snow, Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Kyle Fougere said Thursday.

“I took the snow tires off, unfortunately, so I’ll certainly have to be aware this weekend,” he said.

Foothills, southwestern Alberta

The Foothills and southwestern Alberta will see the heaviest of the white stuff. The worst of the storm will land Saturday afternoon and evening, and continue through to Sunday morning, Fougere said. Wind gusts of up to 70 km/h are expected in places.

Calgarians should expect 10 to 15 centimetres, he said. Edmonton may see a sprinkle, though he says little of it should stick to the pavement.

“Anyone with travel plans in southern Alberta or travelling west, even travelling along Highway 2 between Calgary and Edmonton, should definitely pay attention to the weather,” Fougere said.

More information will be released as the system approaches. The federal weather authority is planning to release weather warnings due to snow and wind for parts of the province on Friday, he said.

Calgary typically sees snow in April and May. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Albertans have been enjoying warm, spring-like weather this month, with only a few, scattered snowfalls. Spring snowstorms aren’t uncommon, however, and there may be more in May. Fougere noted that Calgary gets on average 19 centimetres in April and another nine in May.

Calgary may not hit that mark with this weekend’s snowfall but higher elevations nearer the mountains likely will see such amounts, he said. The wind pushes the system up the slopes, resulting in heavier precipitation amounts.

“That’s where we’ll see the worst of it,” he said.

Dropping below 0 C

Calgary’s comic enthusiasts may escape the snowfall as the system could hold off until after the POW! Parade of Wonders starts Friday at 10:30 a.m. MT. But paradegoers and participants might want to bundle up more than usual, just in case.

Temperatures in Calgary will reach a high of 4 C on Friday and a low of 1 C overnight. On Saturday, temperatures are expected to drop to –4 C overnight, and then –10 C on Sunday evening.

It’ll be slightly colder in Banff and slightly warmer in Pincher Creek and Lethbridge, Environment Canada says.

Banff and Jasper saw snow and wind warnings just last week.

Some in Alberta may welcome the rain and snow, Fougere said, noting that some places have received only 10-15 per cent of the precipitation they typically get.