Alberta Clipper Sets Sights on Saskatchewan

Alberta Clipper Aims at Saskatchewan

REGINA – WEATHER – Travellers planning a trip west are advised to keep their eye on a winter storm warning in effect across southern Saskatchewan. The weather system has also generated blizzard warnings for North Dakota and into the United States.

An Alberta clipper originates when warm, moist air from the Pacific Ocean interacts with the mountains of Canada’s Alberta and British Columbia provinces.

Alberta clippers are common in the winter when the weather pattern features a southward dip in the jet stream east of the Rockies.

Disturbances in the upper atmosphere and/or low-pressure systems near the Earth’s surface dive down across the Midwest from Canada and rapidly charge eastward with snow, gusty winds and falling temperatures. Source: Weatherunderground.com

The Arctic Clipper will impact the region by Saturday evening. Environment Canada says that by Sunday morning, the fast moving system will have moved completely into northwestern Saskatchewan and by early that evening, the northern and eastern grain belt could see 10 or more centimetres of snow. The actual track of the system is still highly variable and the exact location of the heaviest snowfall is still to be determined.

Throughout the evening, the overnight, and into Sunday morning, a sharp line of mixed precipitation will be created with the zero degree line stretching between Meadow Lake and Regina. This area could experience snow switching over to rain and patches of freezing rain.

Additionally, this system will be accompanied by a vigorous cold front Sunday afternoon and evening that will sweep through southern Saskatchewan. Strong winds with gusts of 70 km/h and higher, falling temperatures, snow, and blowing snow will move through the province. The area of strongest wind will be southwest Saskatchewan which could see gusts of 90 km/h or higher. Widespread reduced visibilities in snow and blowing snow are likely behind the cold front.

Special weather statement in effect for:

  • City of Regina

Severe Winter Weather approaches Saskatchewan.

An intense low-pressure system currently over the Pacific Ocean will come ashore Saturday morning and begin to affect Saskatchewan Saturday evening.

Ahead of the system, warm Pacific air will gradually move in and bring above zero temperatures to southwestern areas today.

The United States National Weather Service reports:

WHAT...Blizzard conditions possible. Total snow accumulations
  of 3 to 6 inches possible. Winds could gust as high as 60 mph.

* WHERE...Portions of north central, northwest, south central
  and southeast North Dakota.

* WHEN...From Sunday afternoon through Monday morning.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Plan on slippery road conditions.
  Widespread blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility.
  The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute.
  Strong winds could cause tree damage. The cold wind chills as
  low as 25 below zero could cause frostbite on exposed skin in
  as little as 30 minutes.