Extensive snowfall warning for Red Deer and Central Alberta issued by Environment Canada

Tune up those snow shovels and get out the woollies — major snow and cold are on the way.

Tune up those snow shovels and get out the woollies — major snow and cold are on the way.

An extensive snowfall warning that includes Red Deer and a large part of Central Alberta was issued by Environment Canada at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

A major Pacific frontal system was bring heavy snowfall to parts of Central Alberta starting Wednesday evening and continuing through Friday.

A long period of snowfall, with total amounts of 20 to 30 cm, is expected, according to Environment Canada.

Snow over the mountain parks will become heavier late Wednesday afternoon. The snow will spread northward into the Grande Prairie region this evening and continue eastward toward the City of Edmonton and surrounding areas overnight. Heavy snow will continue Thursday and Friday before the system moves into Saskatchewan.

Snowfall totals for this system, by the time Friday evening arrives, will likely be in the 15 to 30 cm range.

Behind the system, frigid arctic air will drop daytime highs well below normal for the weekend.

Environment Canada suggests people consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. There may be a significant impact on rush hour traffic in urban areas.

While the temperature in Red Deer was expected to reach a low overnight of -9C, Thursday’s high will be -16C, a low of -20C overnight, a high of -20C on Friday and dipping to -24C overnight, and an overnight low of -26C on Saturday.

Snowfall warnings are issued when significant snowfall is expected. The snowfall warning includes the following Central Alberta areas:

l City of Red Deer

l Red Deer County near Elnora, Lousana and Delburne

l Red Deer County near Penhold Innisfail and Bowden

l Red Deer County near Pine Lake

l Red Deer County near Spruce View and Red Lodge Provincial Park

l Red Deer County near Sylvan Lake and Stephansson House

l Lacombe County near Clive, Alix and Mirror

l Lacombe County near Eckville

l Lacombe County near Lacombe Blackfalds and Bentley

l Ponoka County near Ponoka and Maskwacis

l County of Stettler near Big Valley

l County of Stettler near Botha and Gadsby

l County of Stettler near Byemoor and Endiang

l County of Stettler near Donalda

l County of Stettler near Stettler Nevis and Rochon Sands

l Camrose County near Bashaw and Meeting Creek