Winter wallop hits prairies for last weekend of January

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.

Wind gusts

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:

  • Champion
  • Crestomere
  • Barnwell
  • Sunnynook
  • Coronation
  • Stettler
  • Morrin
  • Island Lake
  • Pinhorn
  • Slave Lake
  • Black Diamond
  • Hand Hills
  • Sheerness
  • Edmonton
  • Airdrie

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.

Record highs

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:

Coronation, Alta.

  • New record: 7.5 C
  • Old record: 6.3 C set in 1984

Leader, Sask.

  • New record: 6.9 C
  • Old record: 6.7 C set in 1976

WATCH: Freezing rain, ice pellets and snow; how it forms

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.

Record cold

It was bitterly cold in Manitoba, where three locations set new record lows around -40 C.

Island Lake

  • New record: -42.2 C
  • Old record: -39.4 C set in 1971

Berens river

  • New record: -40.4
  • Old record: -39.4 C set in 1957

Fisher Branch

  • 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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Wind warnings issued for central and southern Alberta Sunday

Saskatoon weather outlook: -40 to -50 wind chills return

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