Calgary airport has totaled more than 20 centimeters (8 inches) of snow since Monday. The 11.8 cm that Calgary saw on Monday broke it’s previous September 8 snowfall record which was set in 1921, when the city accumulated 11.7 cm. On top of what’s already fallen, another five inches is expected through Wednesday evening in Calgary itself, while higher amounts of up to 10 inches could fall in the higher elevations.
While snow in Alberta in September is not completely unheard of, it’s still a pretty rare occurrence. Weather Channel’s Nick Wiltgen writes:
September has, on average, 1-2 days of measurable snow in Calgary. On average, only one September day every three years sees at least 5 centimeters (just under 2 inches) of snow. Nonetheless, Monday’s snow was an attention-grabber, especially coming so early in the month and just a day after Sunday’s high of 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Roads are quite visibly a mess on Wednesday morning as the snow continues to fall. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi advises people to stay off the roads. “It’s miserable outside, folks. Please leave extra time, drive safely, and, if you can, avoid morning rush hour travel today,” the mayor said in a tweet on Wednesday morning.
The heavy, wet nature of this week’s snow has been bringing down tree branches, and thereby power lines, across the Calgary region. 660 News reports that 30,000 customers were without power in Calgary as of Wednesday morning, and crews were having trouble responding to the high volume of calls that are coming in to report downed branches. That non-emergency 311 number has received over 1,000 calls since Tuesday, and the average wait time for a call to 311 has climbed to 16 minutes.
A deep trough of low pressure is pushing south through southern Canada and the northern U.S. this week, bringing not only snow, but cooler weather along with it.
The high elevations of Montana are seeing snow on Wednesday morning as low temperatures dip below freezing. Up to 15 inches of snow could fall in the high elevations of Wyoming through Thursday evening, and western South Dakota and even Nebraska could get some flurries in early morning hours of Friday.
This snow-generating storm is the same system that will bring cooler weather to the eastern U.S. later this week. While we might not see snow, temperatures will be running 10 to 15 degrees below average starting this weekend here in the D.C. area.