Heavy snow blankets southern Alberta
Officials were advising against any travel on southern Alberta highways and roads Sunday
Posted: Mar 2, 2013 2:36 PM MT
Last Updated: Mar 3, 2013 6:25 PM MT
Most of southern Alberta got hit with a blast of winter weather Sunday, which reduced visibility and caused dangerous road conditions.
Many southern Alberta highways were closed and RCMP were advising against any travel in the area. Highway 2 from Fort Macleod to Calgary opened around 6 p.m. MT Sunday, but officials said the road was still very slippery.
Officials were asking motorists on Sunday afternoon to find the closest town or a safe place to wait out the storm, and stranded drivers were being asked to call 911 for help.
Strong winds and anywhere from 15 to 25 centimetres of snow was in the forecast for Calgary Sunday, and another five centimetres could fall on Monday.
City spokesperson Kelly Dyer says it's too early to know if a snow route parking ban will be put into effect.
Calgary police were advising motorists to stay off city roads because of dangerous conditions.
The Calgary International Airport was also seeing weather-related delays and some cancellations.
Officials are advising travellers to check their flight before heading to the airport.
FortisAlberta crews had to restore power to roughly 3,000 customers near Langdon, Chestermere and Okotoks earlier Sunday because of downed power poles.
Westbound Heritage Drive near Deerfoot Trail in Calgary will also be closed for roughly 24 hours to repair downed power lines.
Snow hits the Rockies
Officials at Sunshine Village said Saturday that the ski hill located near Banff got 42 centimetres of fresh powder in 24 hours.
"What a tremendous way to kick off the month of March," said Dave Riley, Sunshine's chief operating officer.Backcountry skiers are being warned of avalanche danger this weekend in the mountains west of Calgary because of a Pacific rain system called the Pineapple Express. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)
Officials said the new snow is attributed to the Pineapple Express system converging over the Rocky Mountains.
"This new snow has provided epic conditions for skiers and riders this weekend and leading into the spring ski season."
But Alberta backcountry enthusiasts are being warned about an avalanche danger this weekend.
The risk in Kananaskis and the south Rockies is rated as considerable to high.
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