Though there are still 36 days until the next season officially begins, Mother Nature is bringing a mixed bag of unpleasant winter weather to Alberta this week.
Snowfall and wind warnings, along with special weather statements for freezing rain and poor air quality, are in effect for pretty much all of the province, with the exception of the far north and a small section of central Alberta.
Edmonton and central Alberta snowfall warning
Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning Sunday afternoon for much of west-central Alberta, including the city of Edmonton.
Heavy snowfall will begin to fall Monday and continue into Tuesday — in total, between 10 and 20 centimetres is expected in Edmonton and the surrounding region.
The national weather agency said the snow will begin in western Alberta in the morning and spread east through the day, reaching the Edmonton metropolitan area by the early afternoon.
Snow will begin to taper off early Tuesday morning, from west to east as the system moves into Saskatchewan.
As of Monday morning, that snowfall warning was in effect for regions in and around Edmonton, stretching as far north as Slave Lake and Grande Prairie.
Eastern Alberta air quality poor as a foot of snow is expected
As much as 30 centimetres of snow could fall by Tuesday night in the Bonnyville – St. Paul – Cold Lake – Lac La Biche region.
That area of eastern Alberta was also under a special weather statement Monday morning, when Environment Canada said stagnant weather conditions under a ridge of high pressure were causing pollutants at the surface to build up with time.
The poor air quality was expected to improve later Monday as winds increase throughout the day, allowing the pollutants to disperse.
In addition to the snowfall, strong northerly winds, with gusts to 70 km/h, will develop over portions of eastern Alberta Monday night and continue through Tuesday, Environment Canada said. Visibility may be reduced in blowing snow.
Freezing rain alert for central Alberta
In addition to the snow that began Monday morning across many areas of central Alberta, Environment Canada said freezing rain will also be an issue Monday.
A band of freezing rain is expected to develop late Monday afternoon from near Drayton Valley eastwards to the Saskatchewan border, and slowly move northeastwards through the evening.
On Tuesday, strong northwesterly winds will kick up blowing snow and reduce visibility while driving, the weather agency said.
Highway 93 hazardous winter conditions
To the west, hazardous winter conditions are expected along Highway 93, which is under a winter storm warning.
Environment Canada said total snowfall amounts near 60 centimetres are expected on the Icefields Parkway by Tuesday morning.
Drivers are advised to consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve.
Banff weather conditions
In the Banff area, snow will transition to rain in valley bottoms on Monday, including in the Banff townsite and Canmore. Communities in valley bottoms can expect to receive up to five centimetres of snow before transitioning to rain late in the morning.
Over higher terrain, snow will continue through the day with upwards of 15 centimetres expected.
The snowfall warnings came after Environment Canada issued special weather statements late Sunday morning for central Alberta and weather warnings for much of the western part of the province.
Around 9 a.m. Sunday, the Lake Louise Fire Department issued a tweet saying there was a heavy snowfall that created low visibility and slick conditions on Highway 1 between Banff and Lake Louise.
Environment Canada said as of Tuesday, winds will increase from the northwest and blowing or drifting snow is likely before the winds weaken later in the day.
Damaging southern Alberta winds expected
Warnings for strong, damaging winds were in effect Monday across all of southern Alberta, from the Rocky Mountains in the west to the Saskatchewan border in the east.
Environment Canada said southwesterly winds will strengthen in the morning, with gusts of 100 to 110 km/h expected. The strong winds will continue overnight before weakening Tuesday morning.
High profile vehicles such as semi-trucks will be in danger of tipping over in cross winds, the weather agency advised.
Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may also occur. Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions due to high winds.
For the latest Environment Canada watches and warnings, visit its website.
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— With files from Jessika Guse, Global News