ALBERTA

Alberta Cold Snap Will Only Get Worse Before It Gets Better

11/18/2013 02:40 EST
D.R. Hutchinson via Getty Images

This weekend's snowfall was the just the beginning of what will be a miserable week weather-wise for Alberta, according to Environment Canada..

Up to 20 centimetres of snow fell in some parts of the province Saturday and Sunday, and judging by the frigid temperatures that are forecast to stick around through Friday, it might take a while for that snow to disappear.

According to Environment Canada, southern Alberta, including Calgary, will see daytime highs below -15 C on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday will also carry a brutal windchill of -27 C. Thursday the area will get a bit of a reprieve when the daytime high hits -2 C before dropping to -12 C Friday.

The news is worse for Edmonton and parts of central Alberta. Tuesday's high will be -24 C, forecasts Environment Canada, with a windchill of -28 C. Temperatures will remain similarly low Wednesday before climbing to a -2 C daytime high Thursday. A drop in temperature is expected Friday, back down to -16C.

Temperatures will climb significantly into the weekend, however, rising above the freezing mark near Edmonton and into the the low teens in the Calgary area.

For the record, the average temperatures for Alberta this time of year are highs of 3 C and lows of -8 C.

The cold snap is stretching Calgary's emergency shelters to capacity, reports the Calgary Herald, as many homeless people try to escape the cold and windy streets.

The Mustard Seed, Drop-In Centre and Inn From the Cold, three shelters that provide shelter for the city's homeless, were all near or at capacity Saturday and Sunday evening.

The recent plunge in temperatures, however, did not deter Calgarians and Edmontonians from getting out of the house over the weekend.

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Thousands of people in Calgary braved the cold Sunday to watch the Saskatchewan Roughriders take on the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL Western Final at McMahon Stadium.

Thousands of Edmontonians also turned up at the city's annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, Christmas on the Square Holiday Light Up, Saturday night.

According to the Edmonton Journal, Mayor Don Iveson said Edmonton is "done apologizing for the weather," and instead plans to embrace being a winter city.

“Nothing’s going to keep Edmontonians down. A little bit of snow? No big deal.”

Environment Canada told the Calgary Herald that while these wild weather swings that bring blasts of cold air to Alberta are relatively rare for November, the snowfall is typical for this time of year.

“Often the heaviest snow in Calgary occurs in October or November, when the moist air is still around,” Environment Canada climatologist David Phillips said.