10/17/2012 02:49 EDT

Alberta Winter: Colder And Dry Predicted For Prairies


Memories of last year’s record warm winter may be all that Albertans will have to get them through the bitingly cold winter expected ahead.

Long-term forecasts for Alberta – and the prairies as a whole – by are painting a dry but bitingly cold picture of the winter ahead.

“Slightly colder-than-normal weather with near-normal snow is predicted for most of the Prairie region, which was the warmest spot last winter,” states an report.

“While portions of Alberta and British Columbia may be chilly, a drier-than-normal pattern is expected.”

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A large high pressure system is expected to dominate Alaska and most of western Canada this winter, bringing with it drier than normal conditions. Those conditions will leave the door open for Arctic fronts to move across Alberta, making for near-normal days but for chilly nights, the report adds.

“Near-normal snowfall is predicted for the Canadian Rockies, likely to the delight of skiers, while Alberta Clipper systems graze the area. With cold air, the snow that falls will stick around through much of the winter and into spring,” states the report.

Colder Than Normal for Saskatchewan, Manitoba

Lower-than normal temperatures are also expected across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, with drier than normal weather persisting through to December in those two provinces. But that may change in January and February, with the arrival of quick-hitting storms.

"For Regina and Winnipeg, I think we are going to see an increase in Alberta Clipper systems, especially the second half of winter, which should bring quick shots of snowfall to both those cities during that time," said Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.

While Alberta Clipper systems are fast-moving and do not have much moisture associated with them, a moderate amount of snow is predicted for this winter. Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg are expected to have near-normal snowfall this winter.

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