The MétéoMédia – Tale of two seasons in the Prairies, summer heat versus fall snow

Monday, October 4, 2021, 9:05 p.m. – The summer heat is returning to the southern Prairies, while parts of the north will receive the first snowfall of the season and much cooler temperatures this week.

Well, fall is a time of transition, and the Prairies are a prime example of the temperature clashes this week. October has just started, but a strong air mass division has established itself in western Canada – placing cooler air in the north and much warmer air in the south. The seesaw battle will bring wintry conditions to parts of northern Alberta and British Columbia, with what could be the first burst of snow this season. The southern half will benefit from potential daytime peaks of 30 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday, thanks to an amplified current jet. More information on this sharp temperature divide that will mark this first week of October, below.

Visit our Complete Fall 2021 Guide for a detailed look at the fall forecast, tips for getting ready for it, and more!


As parts of southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba bask in the warmth, parts of northern Alberta get an early glimpse of winter this week.

A strong enough upper trough will usher in a much colder blow of air that will be accompanied by humidity from the Pacific, so the end result is heavy mountain snow for the Coast Ranges and the Rockies.


The winter pattern low will continue to tread east on Tuesday and Wednesday, with mixed precipitation turning to snow in the Peace River region of northern British Columbia and northern Alberta. Until Tuesday evening, parts of northwestern Alberta and northern British Columbia could locally see 5 to 15 cm of snow. High elevations along the Rockies can see up to 8 inches.

Special weather report in place for Highway 97-Pine Pass area in British Columbia

While the northern sections grapple with white matter and cold temperatures, parts of the southern Prairies will bask in a summer heat until the middle of the week.

Daytime highs are expected to hit the upper 20s and low 30s in places, around 15 degrees above normal for this time in early October. In fact, if they hit the 30 degree mark, it would be the first occurrence of such temperatures in October since 1980.


“This level of heat is rare at this time of year. For example, if Medicine Hat reaches 30 ° C, it will be the first time that this will happen in October since 1980, ”explains Michael Carter, meteorologist at MétéoMédia.

However, those in the regions shouldn’t feel too comfortable in the heat. A deep upper trough will generate cooler and even slightly below-season conditions for the second half of the week and the weekend.


For the Thanksgiving long weekend, forecasters will watch for the potential of a strong low on Sunday with significant snow possible for western Alberta on Sunday or Monday. Rain or wet snow will spread eastward early next week.

Daytime highs will be rather cold and this could be volatile for the western Prairies through the middle and late next week.

Check back for the latest updates on the clash of seasons on the Prairies.

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