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Deep freeze to follow Grande Prairie snowstorm

The Grande Prairie area is in for some heavy snowfall, but it won’t end there. Meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada Kyle Fougere says the winter storm will bring cold arctic air with it as well.

“We’re expecting temperatures to get down into the minus 20s as a high for Saturday and Sunday, and then in the mornings on Monday/Tuesday lows into the minus 30s.”

A snowfall warning is in effect for the Grande Prairie – Beaverlodge – Valleyview and Peace River – Fairview – High Prairie – Manning regions. A total of 15 to 30 centimetres is expected by Saturday afternoon.

Fougere explains it’s the result of a low-pressure system that developed Thursday from the Edmonton area towards Grande Prairie. It’s expected to further develop overnight.

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“It’s going to last for quite a long time,” adds Fougere. “It’s a pretty slow moving low as it moves from B.C. into Alberta and then slowly moves off to the east. That’s going to lead to a long duration snowfall event.”

The snow is expected to be fluffy, making it larger in volume but easier to deal with than heavy snow that’s hard to shovel in the spring. However, Fougere warns Friday will be a bad day to travel.

“The snow is going to be heavy at times and the winds are going to be pretty good from the east – probably 20, gusting 40 kilometres an hour – which will reduce visibility, so anybody travelling [Friday] and early in the day Saturday should expect to see poor visibilities in the snow and encounter quite a bit of snow on their journey.”

The local forecast for Grande Prairie is calling for five to 10 centimetres of snow, at times heavy, Thursday night with a windchill of minus 29 overnight and a risk of frostbite. Another 10 centimetres of snow is expected Friday, and then five to 10 Friday night.

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