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UPDATED: Special weather advisory issued for Banff, Canmore

Banff broke temperature records on March 16 and 17.
Canmore weather forecast. Environment Canada

BOW VALLEY – Record-breaking temperatures in Banff and Canmore are plummeting to below zero in the coming days as a snowstorm sweeps the region.

The dramatic shift in weather has prompted a special weather statement for Banff, Lake Louise, Canmore, Kananaskis Country and other parts of western and southern Alberta.

“There’s definitely been some warm temperatures, but the temperatures are going to drop more towards what we would consider normal around this time of year,” said Rob Griffith, a lead meteorologist with Environment Canada.

“It’s not to say that it's going to get extremely cold, but it is going to be cooler than it's been … record-breaking warm down to below zero again.”

Banff broke the March 16 record of 13.9 degrees Celsius set in 1947, reaching 15.3 C. The next day hit a March 17 record with 16 C, breaking the old record of 14.4 C set in 1956. Banff’s temperature records go back to 1887.

The temperature record at Bow Valley Provincial Park Bow Valley was smashed on March 17, hitting 18.1 C and breaking the old record of 15.6 C set in 1971.

“Banff’s normal high is 4 C and normal low is -10 C,” said Griffith.

The special weather statement was issued by Environment Canada just before 11:30 a.m. on Monday (March 18).

A cold front sweeping south through Alberta is expected to bring temperatures down to below zero on Tuesday (March 19).

A snowstorm is expected to start Tuesday evening for parts of weather and southern Alberta, intensifying on Wednesday and continuing until early morning.

Griffith said between 15 and 25 centimetres is expected to fall over a 48-hour period, with higher amounts possible on the eastern slopes of the Rockies.

“We're looking at some potential for heavy snow, but it’s sort of a prolonged event,” he said.

“There's going to be times where visibility is going to be restricted in heavier snow, but in general it's just going to be a few days of snow.'

Environment Canada advises people to watch out for possible snowfall warnings in some regions.

Griffith said snowfall warnings may be issued in some areas.

“Our criteria for that is 10 centimetres within a 12-hour period,” he said.

To report severe weather, send an email to [email protected] or tweet reports using #ABStorm.

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