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Tale of two seasons for the Prairies

Pockets of snow throughout the Prairies
Pockets of snow throughout the Prairies

Alexandra Pope, staff writer

March 20, 2011 — Sunday marks the vernal equinox -- the official start of spring -- but with more snow on the way for parts of the Prairies early next week, it could look and feel more like winter.

A snowy morning in Wawota, SK
A snowy morning in Wawota, SK

A Pacific low spilled over the Rockies and brought a couple of centimetres of snow to southern Alberta, including Calgary.

The heaviest snow fell east of the city, however, in places like Brooks and Medicine Hat.

Temperatures will be on the cool side in the wake of the system, slowing the melting trend that has put officials in at least one southern Alberta community on high flood alert.

A strong easterly flow means the system will continue to shower light snow over a long swath of the southern Prairies throughout the day on Sunday, although temperatures a couple of degrees above zero mean the system will bring mostly rain to southern Manitoba, including Winnipeg and Brandon.

The precipitation will clear out by Sunday night, but Monday, the first full day of spring, brings the promise of more wintery weather for the southern Prairies.

A California low will begin to push into British Columbia overnight on Sunday, bringing light rain to Vancouver and snow to the higher elevations.

By Monday morning, the precipitation will begin to make its way into southwestern Alberta.

“The California low will pretty much stay south of the border, but we'll see pockets of snow throughout the Prairies,“ says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

“We'll see light snow Monday morning in southern Alberta, including Calgary, then it picks up, with stronger winds and heavier snow in southern Saskatchewan and extreme southwestern Manitoba.”

Early forecasts are calling for up to 15 cm of snow for some places by Tuesday.

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