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Southern Sask. hit with Alberta low system bringing ice pellets, snow and rain

A slow moving Alberta low was responsible for southern Saskatchewan's latest blast of winter, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).

“This was a system that formed west of here. It was a slow moving Alberta low – which isn't what we normally see,” said Natalie Hasell – a warning preparedness meteorologist for ECCC. “We’re used to calling them clippers, but not all Alberta lows are clippers. So this was one of those examples.”

A total of 16.5 (cm) of snowfall was recorded in the area surrounding Regina on Tuesday.

“The area around Regina is probably the area that got the most precipitation looking at radar accumulation imagery,” Hasell added.

ECCC stations in Vibank (13.7 cm), Strasbourg (7.6 cm), and Bredenbury (5.1 cm) also reported significant snowfall.

However, snow was not the only form of precipitation that Regina and the rest of southern Saskatchewan received.

Freezing rain, drizzle, snow and ice pellets were all recorded in a single day across southeastern Saskatchewan.

“Not that unusual considering the temperature ranges we’re in,” Hasell said, adding that temperatures were hovering around zero degrees.

“In October, the snow is still a minor or minority component, whereas in November it becomes the dominant precipitation type. So, typically we see more snow in November that we do rain.”

As the system’s effects dissipate as it travels east, Hasell says temperatures will dip before rebounding over the weekend.

How much temperatures rise will depend on the melt of the snow already on the ground.

“If you still have a lot of snow on the ground – you're not going to see temperatures above +5 C. But if enough melting happens, you could see temperatures above +5 C after all the energy has gone into melting the snow than it can go into heating the air,” she said.

As of Thursday afternoon, ECCC forecasts a high of +9 C for Tuesday, Nov. 14.

“We've seen a lot of great variability in the weather in the last while. Seeing something that is that far above seasonal may be not that unusual, in a sense of things are changing,” she said.

“If you do get rid of enough snow, if enough of it melts, you could see these very warm temperatures coming with this next push of warm air.”

Over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday, many major highways in the province’s southeast experienced snowy and slippery conditions – with a section of Highway 1 even being closed for several hours.

As temperatures do fluctuate, Hasell warned travellers to be aware of potentially worsening road conditions.

“The freeze/thaw cycle that we’re expecting on and off for the next several days could be leading to road conditions being difficult despite the weather being benign through the day,” she said.

“Especially in the evening or the early morning period there could be ice on the road that’s very difficult to see.” Top Stories

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