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Snow threat over eastern Prairies all rides on a couple of degrees

The Weather Network logo The Weather Network 2021-10-14 Digital Writers

The first accumulating snow of the season for parts of the southern prairies, details are here
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Thanksgiving gave a wintry sneak preview to parts of Alberta and B.C, and Saskatchewan looks to be next in line. People there may wake to a couple of centimetres of snow Thursday morning, while the rest of the eastern Prairies is in for a fair bit of showers. More on this wintry setup and who's at risk of seeing the most snow, below.

Visit our Complete Guide to Fall 2021 for an in-depth look at the Fall Forecast, tips to plan for it and much more!

INTO THURSDAY: COLORADO LOW PUSHES INTO EASTERN PRAIRIES, SNOW RISK OVER SASKATCHEWAN

So far, the midweek looks messy for the eastern Prairies, thanks to the passage of a Colorado low that began tracking through the region Wednesday.

So far, the low has encountered temperatures just on the right side of zero to manifest as rain for parts of Manitoba, beginning Wednesday morning and intensifying into Thursday, spreading to cover northwestern Ontario as well.

Locally heavy amounts up to 40 mm are possible for parts of southern Manitoba, including parts of Winnipeg, but the area set to receive at least a few showers spreads well into Ontario and eastern Saskatchewan.

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However, western and central Saskatchewan is where travellers should be keeping an eye. Temperatures there are on the knife-edge, such that this low's moisture could manifest as a dash of snow.

The rain/snow line will likely land just west of Highway 6, allowing for the bulk of accumulating snow to fall over higher elevations in the area. Presently, snowfall rates don't look excessive, and it's not uncommon for this part of the Prairies to receive snow in mid-October, but overnight and early morning travellers would be wise to be mindful of the conditions.

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MUST SEE: Wintry weather pays Western Canada a surprise Thanksgiving visit

And of course, this will all be dependent on how temperatures shake out.

"When it comes to forecasting weather types like rain, freezing rain and snow, the difference of a degree or two can drastically change the forecast, not only in terms of the weather type, but also how much accretes or accumulates," explains Jessie Uppal, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "This is part of the reason why the season of fall features such difficulty in fine tuning significant weather events -- even in the short range forecast."

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The light snow or a rain/snow mix is expected to continue into early Thursday before tapering off.

LOOK AHEAD: ANOTHER SHOT OF SNOW IN ALBERTA, BUT WARM-UP IS LOOMING

A much warmer pattern returns to the Prairies heading into the weekend, though with a brief shot of cooler weather expected behind a system on Sunday. That system could threaten some significant snow in parts of western Alberta, but at this point, it looks like significant precipitation will be limited to far northern areas as the system tracks east early next week.

Beyond the weekend, temperatures will then soar to above seasonal values through the end of the month.

Be sure to check back for the latest updates on this developing Colorado low for the Prairies.

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