March 15, 2019 8:39 pm
Updated: March 19, 2019 2:23 pm

Big warm-up in the forecast may lead to big disappointment for parts of Alberta

A photo of sunshine and snow in Greenwood.

COURTESY: Brigitte Huerzeler

Above seasonal and even spring-like temperatures are in the forecast for St. Patrick’s Day weekend, but not everyone will bask in the heat.

A strong upper ridge will develop this weekend over Western Canada, pulling in warm air.

However, snow that is still on the ground in parts of Alberta could prevent the air from warming up.

READ MORE: Calgary’s cold February the worst in 69 years

Parts of B.C., southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan could see the mercury rise into the teens — or warmer — on Wednesday.

But temperatures will likely stay clear of daytime high records.

Record high temperatures and the year they were set.

The warm weather is just in time for the spring equinox on March 20 and will be a relief after the province endured one of the coldest Februarys on record.

READ MORE: Edmonton experiences coldest February in 40 years

The bad news is for areas with significant snowpack, which reflects a large amount of sunlight back into the atmosphere and even while the snow melts, it’ll cool the air in the process.

There are still areas with a snow depth of 50 centimetres in central Alberta, and parts of Edmonton are measuring around 40 cm of snow on the ground within the city.

Regions with little to no snow on the ground have a better chance of seeing double-digit temperatures.

READ MORE: Spring melt starts in Calgary, clogging catch basins and flooding some city streets

Some good news: much of Alberta can expect above seasonal daytime highs for the rest of the month and into April, which will help with the melt.

The monthly temperature forecast shows a high probability of above normal temperatures (in red) for much of western, northern southern Alberta.

Environment Canada

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