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Cold September in the Prairies


Snow falls on a colourful garden in Banff, AB
Snow falls on a colourful garden in Banff, AB

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

September 22, 2010 — Between wind chills, frost and accumulating snow, it has been looking and feeling more like the start of winter in some parts of the Prairies this week.

Looking more like winter than fall in Alberta
Looking more like winter than fall in Alberta

The summer season has come to an end; however, in some parts of the Prairies, it feels like the season left a long time ago.

Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have been coping with temperatures in the single digits over the last two weeks. Wind chills have been making it feel more like 0°C. Frost warnings have been popping up in all three provinces. In Alberta, there has even been accumulating snowfall.

“Arctic high pressure sank south into the Prairies a little earlier than normal this year,” says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “We saw snow in the higher elevations, and temperatures were 10 to 15°C below normal.”

Temperatures have been well below seasonal
Temperatures have been well below seasonal

And that's not all. There were also record-breaking overnight lows in Alberta and Saskatchewan throughout the month of September. Last Saturday, people had to bundle up as Sundre fell to -5.3°C and Edmonton plummeted to -5°C.

The frosty conditions are not only forcing people to dig out the winter wardrobe, but are making the harvest season for Prairie farmers near impossible.

Still, there's some good news for anyone not enjoying the cool temperatures.

“Patterns do change, and there's a warmer, above-seasonal pattern setting up this week,” says Dillon. “Temperatures in the high teens and low twenties are expected.”

For a look at the forecast conditions where you are, click our Canadian Cities Index. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV. Your National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.

With files from Beverley Ann D'Cruz and Andrea Stockton

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