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Calgary daytime highs will be 11 to 14 degrees above seasonal until Tuesday

A strong ridge of high pressure will hover over Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan for the next five days elevating temperatures significantly.

A steady flow of warm, Pacific air will keep daytime highs in Calgary between 13 C and 17 C from Friday until Tuesday combined with overnight temperatures which will equal the average daytime high of 3 C.

Upper air map for B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan on March 17, 2024. (CTV News)

This unusual trend will create rapid snow melt both at lower elevations and in the mountains. As a result, places like Calgary will see lingering snow melt and pool on streets and sidewalks with open yards and green spaces becoming muddy.

In the mountains, an already vulnerable snowpack is being impacted in a dangerous manner. According to Avalanche Canada, freezing levels are expected to rise on Thursday, melting surfaces “on all terrain except for high north-facing slopes.”

Extreme and high avalanche ratings have been issued for areas on and near the West Coast due to a “weak layer composed of weak faceted grains on a crust is now buried 80 to 150 centimetres deep.”

This map shows avalanche risk throughout Alberta and B.C. as of March 14. (CTV News)

The agency goes on to explain that many of the warned regions have already produced large and destructive avalanches (natural and human-triggered) and will likely produce more.

Consistent with spring being a transitional season, another pattern reversal is expected by the middle of next week. While seven-to-10-day forecasts are fraught with challenges – especially in this region – there is high confidence that the daytime high on Wednesday will be much colder than Tuesday, and will be the start of a cooler period.

Seven-day temperature trend for Calgary between march 14 and 20, 2024. (CTV News)

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