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GP bracing for mid-September snow

Grande Prairie will likely see snow in September for the first time in four years. Environment Canada is calling for a chance of snow on Wednesday, September 12th, and meteorologist Alysa Pederson says we’ll probably see some fall.

“A lot of the different computer models we’ve looked at are indicating that the snow is likely for Wednesday, so, unfortunately, confidence is actually pretty good considering we’re looking out five days. We should be getting some measurable snow.”

The last time the Swan City saw more than just a trace amount of snow in September was in 2014 when 6.4 centimetres fell in two days during the second week of the month. Pederson says it’s not unusual for the region.

“Because of the mountains to our west, Alberta does see high variability in their fall seasons. A couple of years ago in 2013 Calgary actually got 20 centimetres of snow over two days on September 8th and 9th. So, it’s possible, especially with the terrain.”

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Friday could be the last warm day of the summer. A weather system is expected to move through northwestern Alberta this weekend, which Pederson says will likely bring rain Friday night and more through Sunday and Monday.

The system from the Northwest Territories thought to bring air cold enough to lead to the snow next week should move in Tuesday night. Looking further ahead, Pederson says things could get better for the Peace Country, as it looks like another El Nino is on its way.

“For most of Alberta, we should be getting indications of a more mild winter, just a little bit drier than typical winters would be climatologically speaking. Our seasonal forecast is indicating possibly above normal temperatures for the next few months.”

Normal temperatures in Grande Prairie for this time of year are highs of around 17 degrees and lows of plus five. This weekend into the middle of next week is forecast to be below normal. Pederson urges residents to get prepared for winter weather ahead of time.

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