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Tag: Justin Shelley

Brenda and Casey Shenton, dressed in Calgary Flames jerseys and bundled for a cold-weather winter walk.

First cold snap of the season forecast to begin by weekend

Although we’ve seen the odd indication of winter since October, it might really feel like it by as early as this weekend.

In its latest seven-day weather outlook, Environment Canada is forecasting a considerable drop in temperature come Sunday with a daytime high of only -12 C. Factor in even a slight 15 kilometre-an-hour breeze and the mercury could easily be in the upper -20s before Sunday night.

“We certainly are seeing a change in the pattern coming up here,” explains meteorologist Justin Shelley with the Alberta office of Environment Canada.

“Pincher Creek, as well as the majority of the Prairies and Western Canada have been enjoying well above normal temperatures so far this winter and we are going to see a flip in that regard by next week.”

The short-range forecast for the entire southwest region calls for snow to begin Saturday night, carrying on into Sunday, but it’s the dropping temperatures that are a much bigger concern, with the possibility of long-range cold snap beginning mid next week.



“There’s still some discrepancy in just how much colder it’s going to get,” Shelley says. “Some models are showing that we’re just going to get back to near normals … so normal daytime highs for this time of year of -2 and overnight lows of -12. We’ve certainly been well above that for a number of weeks.

“With the snow Saturday into Sunday, we’re going to see the first bit of cold air descend down into southwest Alberta, but we’re not expecting to see any significant amounts, perhaps two to five centimetres. Maybe a little more for the Waterton Lakes.”

The weekend, though, could be a precursor to an extended cold snap and more wintry weather.

“By early to mid next week, we’re looking at another system that might be more significant and will likely allow for that colder air mass to move further south over the Prairies,” Shelley says.

Long-term projections range anywhere from -8 to -15 during the day, without the wind factored in, and the potential for little or no movement in temperatures until after mid month.

Shelley says the cold air is currently over top of the Yukon and Northwest Territories, and could blanket a large part of Western Canada when it settles in place.


White car surrounded by auto parts on Pincher Creek Bumper to Bumper ad


White sheet lighting in a purplish night sky over Pincher Creek Rexall

No blue moon but lotsa lightning for Pincher Creek

If you thought the weather in and around Pincher Creek was a little crazy Wednesday night, you’d be right.

A rather intense thunderstorm blanketed the region for the better part of eight hours during the evening and overnight hours, bringing with it wind, heavy rain at times, and both sheet and fork lightning.

“We had a low pressure that settled itself over the southern Prairies,” explains Justin Shelley, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

“It’s currently centred (10 a.m. Thursday) over central Saskatchewan. Last night, of course, during the storms it was a little farther west, where we had a line of thunderstorms that extended from the southern half of our province right into Montana.”

Shelley said the system was slow moving and created a train-like effect where the storms seemed to back into each other, translating into the heavy pockets of wind and rain that we saw.

Combined with rain earlier in the day, the Pincher Creek airport weather station received 23.3 millimetres in precipitation from midnight to midnight Wednesday, while Brocket, to the northeast, collected 47.2 millimetres in its rain gauge.

But is there more wet weather on the way? Maybe, toward the end of the long weekend, Shelley predicts.

“It does look like we might see another system move through the area on Sunday or Monday, but probably not what happened last night,” he adds.

The seven-day forecast from Environment Canada is for generally dry conditions, with sunshine Friday through Sunday and highs in the mid to upper 20s.

A 60 per cent chance of showers follows on Monday.

Skies are expected to clear for the first day of school Tuesday, with a more manageable daytime high of 17.