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Alberta to see 20-degree drop in temps and up to 15 centimetres of snow

Snowfall warnings have been issued along the southern edge of the foothills. Global Edmonton

After an unusually warm Saturday with highs around 20 C for much of the province, Alberta is about to get a weather reality check.

A cold front moving into the northern portion of Alberta was expected to track south throughout the day Sunday, forcing temperatures to plummet below freezing.

Along with the cold weather, heavy amounts of snow were forecast from the northern edge of the Rockies, down along the foothills, to the southwest corner of Alberta.

Click to play video: 'Calgary-area farmers thankful for moisture as seeding season starts' Calgary-area farmers thankful for moisture as seeding season starts
Calgary-area farmers thankful for moisture as seeding season starts – Apr 18, 2021

This incoming upsloping system prompted Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) to issue extensive weather warnings Saturday all the way from Hinton and Grande Cache to Waterton.

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Communities surrounding Calgary to the north, west and south — including Airdrie, Cochrane and Okotoks — were all under snowfall warnings as of Sunday morning.

Snowfall warnings surround the city of Calgary to the north, west and south April 18, 2021. Global News

As of 8 a.m. Sunday, the cities of Lethbridge and Red Deer were not under any warnings.

On Sunday at 12:40 p.m., Calgary was placed under a snowfall warning.

“Calgary will see variable snowfall totals, with higher amounts expected in western sections of the city,” the agency said. “Snowfall will taper off on Monday morning.”

Snowfall warnings for Calgary and Rocky View County near Cochrane ended on Sunday at 5:20 p.m.

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A camera on Highway 40 near Hinton Sunday morning shows snow-covered roads with limited visibility.
A camera on Highway 40 near Hinton Sunday morning shows snow-covered roads with limited visibility. 511 Alberta

Wind gusts from the north could create temporary whiteout conditions as that snow moves in, with poor driving conditions already reported around Grande Cache first thing Sunday morning.

Because this is a spring system, the majority of the snow should melt fairly quickly due to temperatures warming up by the middle of the week.

However, as this system is expected to track in over the QEII corridor and areas along the southern foothills, ECCC warned that road conditions could be temporarily affected.

The city of Calgary is anticipating between five to 10 cm of snow Sunday with north winds of 30 to 50 km/h.

A snowy Calgary pictured on Sunday, April 18, 2021. Mike Hills/Global News

April is typically Calgary’s second-snowiest month annually with an average of 18.8 cm of snow. As of April 17, 2021, there have only been trace amounts of snow.

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For a look at the current weather watches and warnings, click here.

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