Calgary weather: Snowfall warning makes for a slippery commute – Calgary Herald

Calgary weather: Snowfall warning makes for a slippery commute - Calgary Herald
Slick commute for Calgary drivers following early morning snowfall
A cyclist rides down a snowy 7th avenue N.E. after Calgarians woke to an overnight snowfall on Tuesday November 19, 2019. Gavin Young/Postmedia Postmedia

A low-pressure system that moved into Calgary early Tuesday morning is expected to bring 10 to 15 centimetres of snow.

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Calgary snowfall slows morning commute, causes airport delays

Calgary road crews are currently focused on high-volume priority one roads (Crowchild, Memorial Drive, Glenmore) and these roads will continue to be plowed until the snow stops, which will then activate the city’s seven-day snow plan. The city is also using salt on the roads to help accelerate melting.

"Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow," the warning read.

The city added that they do not anticipate needing to call for a parking ban on designated snow routes.

Every piece of the city's available equipment is out on the roadways and crews will be working 24/7, focusing first on Priority 1 routes such as Memorial Drive and Crowchild Trail, McGeachy said.

Drivers in Calgary will have to deal with slippery streets and low visibility while out on the roadways.

Weather agency Environment Canada is also reminding drivers to prepare for quickly changing conditions as highways and roads may be difficult to drive on as the snow accumulates. The agency is also reminding people to turn on their headlights if visibility is reduced and follow at a safe distance. 

The wintery weather is not expected to last that long. By Thursday, Environment Canada is predicting sunny skies for Calgary with a high of 7. 

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The bad news? The Weather Network is predicting a winter for Calgary thats slightly colder and snowier than average.

The Calgary International Airport reminded travellers to arrive early and check for any schedule changes as the snowfall has affected some flights.

CALGARY – Drivers encountered slippery roads and reduced visibility during Tuesdays commute after an overnight snowfall brought wintry weather back to Calgary.

"Our crews have out since last night laying down salt to help with the melting," said City of Calgary Roads spokesperson Chris McGeachy.

A snowfall warning remains in effect for Calgary and surrounding areas. Environment Canada issued the statement late Monday evening projecting anywhere from 10 to 15 centimetres of snow as a low pressure system moved into Alberta, beginning in the southwestern part of the province and tracking eastward.

Environment Canada says a low pressure system swept into southwestern Alberta late Monday and tracked east early Tuesday morning.

Drivers were urged to take caution in areas like on and off ramps, hills, bridge decks and intersections where wet snow has frozen over into black ice.

Ten to 15 centimetres of snow were expected to fall on the city on Tuesday, according to a warning from Environment Canada.

Blowing snow reduced visibility for drivers on Stoney Trail in northwest Calgary during the Tuesday morning commute.

Crews right now are focused on Priority 1 routes, like Memorial Drive, Crowchild Trail and Glenmore Trail, McGeachy said. They will be focused on these roads while the snow continues to fall.

Calgary police told CTV News drivers should give themselves plenty of extra time, drive to the road conditions and give more stopping space in between vehicles.

The City of Calgary announced in mid-October that its snow-route parking ban notifications would be moved to the existing myID system, which is already used for street sweeping notifications.

They say there have been 116 crashes in the city from midnight until 11:30 a.m. Tuesday with 93 crashes being non-injury incidents and 13 resulting in injuries. 10 of the crashes were hit-and-run calls.

City crews were already out early Tuesday to help deal with the snow. A brine mixture was laid down in advance of the snowfall and plows focused first on clearing snow from major priority one routes.

Once Priority 1 roads are cleared, crews focus on Priority 2 routes — roads that carry 5,000 to 19,999 vehicles a day — like Kensington Road and Acadia Drive.

Ward Sutherland, councillor for Ward 1, confirmed on Twitter this latest snow event cost the city $180,000 so far. He adds that 560 tonnes of salt, along with 10,170 litres of calcium chloride have also been used on city streets.

Primarily, were focused on applying salt to prevent the buildup of ice and thats because of the temperature that we have out there, McGeachy added.

According to 511 Alberta, a stretch of Highway 22, just north of Cochrane, is covered in snow and ice. Both Highway 1 and Highway 8 west of Calgary are also partly covered in snow.

Some drivers have also reported low visibility on some highways and certain stretches where it can be tough to see the lanes.

For updated information regarding weather warnings and watches, visit Environment Canada – Public Weather Alerts.

For the latest on road conditions in Calgary, follow  YYC Transportation on Twitter or check the CTV Calgary Traffic Page HERE.

For updates on highway conditions, follow 511 Alberta on Twitter, visit AMA Roads Reports and the DriveBC sites.

When the snowfall ends, the city will activate its seven-day snow clearing plan, and crews will begin working down the priority list.

Blowing snow reduced visibility for drivers on Stoney Trail in northwest Calgary during the Tuesday morning commute

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