Calgary weather: Wind warning issued as temperatures plunge

The flash freeze warning has ended for Calgary, but a wind warning has been issued as temperatures plunge around southern Alberta.

Arctic cold front brings in strong winds and up to 5 cm of snow

An Arctic cold front is expected to move into the city Friday night and freeze any rain or melted snow in the Calgary area. CBC Calgary weather specialist Craig Larkins said it will be a frigid start to Saturday and could feel like it's -24 C at 8 a.m. MT. (@Craig_Larkins/Twitter)

The flash freeze warning has ended for Calgary, but a wind warning has been issued as temperatures plunge around southern Alberta.

CBC Calgary weather specialist Craig Larkins says a "flash freeze" is a rain event that occurs with temperatures above freezing followed by a cold front that brings a sudden drop in temperature.

"Possible rainfall along with a blast of cold air means there will be a quick freeze producing icy roads and highways," said Larkins. 

He said recent warm temperatures have also caused a lot of melting that will freeze when temperatures drop.

The rapidly moving cold front could bring winds from 50 to 70 kilometres per hour and frigidly cold temperatures by late Friday evening.

Larkins said temperatures will go from above freezing to a high of -9 C for Saturday, but it could feel more like -28 C with the wind chill.

Along with the blast of cold Arctic air, Calgary is expected to get five centimetres of snow or rain.

Blowing snow warning issued for S.E. Alberta

“Fresh snowfall combined with strong winds will cause reduced visibility, particularly on the Trans-Canada Highway east of the city," said Craig Larkins.

Calgary could see up to five centimetres of rain or snow. (@Craig_Larkins/Twitter)

He said there are also blowing snow warning in place for many parts of southeastern Alberta, including Brooks and Medicine Hat.

The winds are expected to diminish in Calgary overnight as the front tracks southeast, but the cold temperatures will last through the weekend.

Road crews are getting Priority 1 routes, hills and bridge decks ready for the change in weather by applying an anti-icing agent throughout the day, the city said in a release.

RCMP are advising against highway travel from Edmonton to Calgary because of white out conditions and slippery roads. 

A tow advisory is now in place from Leduc to Olds as towing vehicles is not recommended because of the poor driving conditions. 

A crash on Highway 2 is also causing some detours. Southbound lanes south of Bowden to the Highway 2A exit are currently shut down.

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