Winter wallop hits prairies for last weekend of January
On Sunday, a powerful low pressure system swept across the prairies and brought heavy snowfall, freezing rain, dangerously strong winds and record-setting temperatures with it.
Gusts reaching 100 km/h howled in Calgary, Waterton and near Wetaskiwin. Regions near Red Deer and Slave Lake recorded even stronger winds.
The following locations in Alberta had wind gusts over 90 km/h:
- Island Lake
- Slave Lake
- Black Diamond
- Hand Hills
In Saskatchewan, there were gusts over 80 km/h hurling a thousand pound hay bale across a field and over a fence.
Rockglen was the only location that recorded wind gusts over 90 km/h in Saskatchewan.
The cities of Saskatoon, North Battleford, Prince Albert and Swift Current had gusts clocking in at 80 km/h or stronger.
As for temperatures, one of the hottest places in Canada on Sunday was the city of Calgary.
Two locations hit record high temperatures in the early morning hours:
- New record: 7.5 C
- Old record: 6.3 C set in 1984
- New record: 6.9 C
- Old record: 6.7 C set in 1976
The warmer temperatures caused freezing rain across Alberta and Saskatchewan.
On Sunday morning, Saskatoon recorded five hours of freezing rain. As a cold front moved through, temperatures dropped quickly and rain turned to snow.
It was bitterly cold in Manitoba, where three locations set new record lows around -40 C.
- New record: -42.2 C
- Old record: -39.4 C set in 1971
- New record: -40.4
- Old record: -39.4 C set in 1957
- New record: -38.4 C
- Old record: -38.3 C set in 1966
In Kananaskis, Alta., and Prince Albert, Sask., 15 to 20 cm of snow fell.
Below are snowfall measurements recorded by Environment Canada:
- 16 cm in Kananaskis, Alta.
- 15-20 cm in Prince Albert, Sask.
- 11 cm in High Level, Alta.
- 10 cm in Pekisko, Alta.
- 15 cm in Exshaw, Alta.
- 8 cm in Mildred Lake, Alta.
- 8 cm in Nordegg, Alta.
- 7 cm in Elkwater, Alta.
- 10 cm in Emma Lake, Sask.
- 8 cm in Cypress Hills, Sask.
In less than 24 hours, the prairies saw just about every kind of winter weather there is.
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