Southern Albertans wake up to snow, wind and poor visibility

Southern Albertans woke up to a snowy and windy world Friday, a contrast to a relatively warm and sunny week.

Some areas under weather warnings but Calgary expected to see only a few centimetres of white stuff

The snowy, icy trails didn't deter some cyclist from riding their bikes Friday morning. (Mike Symington/CBC)

Southern Albertans woke up to a snowy and windy world Friday, a contrast to a relatively warm and sunny week.

A strong cold front from the north pushed pushing into the south in the morning, pulling down temperatures, bringing snow and strong winds and reducing visibility in some places.

In Calgary, roads have a light covering of snow and ice. In total, about two centimetres of snow is expected to fall through to late afternoon, with temperatures remaining between –8 C and –12 C, Environment Canada predicts. With windchill, the temperature will feel close to –18 C at times.

Snow, wind warnings

Some communities north of Calgary were under snowfall warnings from the national weather authority, but those had ended by noon. They had specifically covered Red Deer, Ponoka, Innisfail and Stettler, as well as parts of central Alberta, including Wetaskiwin​ and Drayton Valley.

For the areas under that warning, roughly 10 to 15 centimetres were expected to fall, with pockets of 20 centimetres in places, by late morning.

Calgarians had a snowy morning commute on Friday. Sunny weather is due back starting Saturday. (Mike Symington/CBC)

Farther south, many communities were under a windfall warning, which has since ended, including:

  • Okotoks.
  • High River.
  • Claresholm.
  • Lethbridge.
  • Taber.
  • Milk River.
  • Brooks.
  • Strathmore.
  • Vulcan.
  • Cardston.
  • Fort Macleod.
  • Magrath.

In these areas, Environment Canada had predicted gusts between 90 and 100 km/h until noon.

In Strathmore, RCMP warned Friday morning that high winds and blowing snow had led to zero visibility on Highway 1. Officers responded to two collisions.

According to 511, many roads in southern Alberta remained partially or entirely snow covered into the afternoon.

RCMP are warning of a snowy commute with poor visibility Friday, mostly outside of Calgary. Much of southern Alberta will see snow and high winds to varying degrees. (Mike Symington/CBC)

Wind warnings were issued for Calgary on Thursday but those have ended. Winds were still predicted to gust 50 to 80 km/h for a while until dropping to gusts of 30 to 50 km/h later in the morning.

The conditions didn't deter some cyclists and runners, who still got out for their active commute and exercise.

For everyone else, hang in until the weekend. Environment Canada says sunshine and above freezing temperatures will be back on Sunday through to next week.


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