It’s big and it’s complicated.
That’s Environment Canada meteorologist Terri Lang’s description of an Alberta Clipper making its way into Saskatchewan Wednesday afternoon.
All but the far north will experience everything from freezing rain to snow to blowing snow to strong winds, which will make for hazardous road conditions.
The Alberta Clipper has prompted Environment Canada to issue special weather advisories, as well as winter storm watches and warnings Tuesday afternoon.
Lang says ahead of the weather system the temperature will be even milder than we have experienced.
Then the wind will switch to the northwest Wednesday afternoon, causing the temperature to drop. The wind will increase to gusts of up to 100 km/h.
That’s also when the snow begins and will continue through the evening.
The wind will be at its strongest late tomorrow night and then still windy with blowing snow on Thursday morning.
Lang says the weather has been so nice through December and early January so we may be lulled into a sense of complacency.
She urges anyone heading out on the highways late Wednesday or Thursday to check the Highway Hotline.
How we experience this weather system will depend on where you are in the province.
Lang says in the south west, there won’t be a lot of snow but really strong winds.
Further north in the La Ronge, Pelican Narrows and Hudson Bay areas there will be freezing rain to start, then heavy snow but because of the tree cover, it won’t be as windy unless you are out in the open.
The south east will see quite a bit of wind and some snow causing blizzard to near blizzard conditions on Thursday.
In the Saskatoon area, Lang expects the worst will likely occur Wednesday afternoon and evening, with the temperature dropping, strong winds and snow, then still windy with blowing snow on Thursday morning.
There won’t be a large amount of snow, but isolated areas could see 5 to 10 centimetres.