SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The term “Alberta Clipper” is a common weather phrase tossed around our region this time of year to describe a specific storm type. Typically, they are not known for producing big snow, but there are exceptions as we may soon find out.
First, Alberta Clippers get their name from the Canadian Province from which they start, Alberta. Now, there are Saskatchewan Screamers and Manitoba Maulers too, but for the sake of time, we’ll just group those together with the clippers. The weather impact in your location depends on what side of the low track you live.
Most clippers track to our east, putting KELOLAND into a set up for light snow, but strong winds on the right hand side of the storm track. Sometimes, we can get a blizzard with an Alberta Clipper, especially if we have a blanket of snow previously undisturbed by the wind.
Normally, we don’t see heavy snow with clippers. However, on some occasions and one that may play out this week, you can get 4-8 inches to the left of the low-pressure track under more favorable moisture conditions. The areas that get the heaviest new snow typically avoid the worst wind.
Alberta Clipper love to form in La Nina winters, which we are currently experiencing. One last note, the storm tracks are extra fickle with these storms, so keep watching the forecast.