The winter season can produce a number of different types of storms. One of these is an Alberta Clipper.
These systems originate in western Canada, on the lee side of the Rocky Mountains. As Pacific air spills downslope, an area of low pressure develops. From there, it gets caught up in the jet stream and moves to the southeast across the US. Traveling over land, these systems lack a significant source of moisture and generally do not produce much snow- usually around 1 to 3 inches. However, they are known for their strong winds and bitterly cold temperatures.
This type of quick-hitting storm takes its name not only from its place of origin near Alberta, Canada but also from the clipper ships of the 19th century – the fastest ships of the time.