Snowfall warning continues for Calgary; 15 cm expected by Wednesday – Calgary Herald

Snowfall warning continues for Calgary; 15 cm expected by Wednesday - Calgary Herald
Slick commute for Calgary drivers following early morning snowfall
Taylor Amonson walks under a snowy canopy of trees along 12th Avenue S.E. near Stampede Park in Calgary on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. Gavin Young/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 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.

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 Calgary Police Service said there were 113 collisions on city streets between midnight and 11:30 a.m., including 13 that injured people and 10 hit-and-runs.

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. 

A blast of winter weather caused more than a hundred crashes on Calgary roads Tuesday morning as well as forcing bus detours and delayed or cancelled flights.

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

Not looking forward to the drive home later in my 92 Chevy rear wheel driven, zero traction and no abs truck…. 😬 even though I have snow/studded tires…. #abstorm #snow #weather #yyc #calgary

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

View from the window. 9:56am looking Northward. #abstorm #Snowvember #TuesdayMorning

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

"Road salt is actually the best thing when the temperature is hovering around zero to –10."

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

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.

Sgt. Blaine Brooks says the Calgary Police Service has been busy responding to crashes all over the city. Drivers have to slow down, they have to leave room between vehicles and they have to wear their seatbelts. The weather is deteriorating and the roads are very slippery."

The snow started at about 3 a.m., Calgary Roads spokesperson Chris McGeachy said. So our crews have been out since last night laying down salt.

Chris McGeachy , City of Calgary roads spokesperson, says the cost of each snow event varies from $700,000 to $1.5 million. 

"Our snow budget does go from January 1st to December 31st," explained McGeachy. "While people may think of the winter season from October to March, our snow budget actually resets on January 1st so we are in pretty good shape right now."

Snow routes are indicated by blue signs with a white snowflake symbol. Any vehicles left on snow routes during the ban can be ticketed or towed.

McGeachy says crews are focusing on spreading salt on priority one routes, like Crowchild and Glenmore Trails, to keep the greatest amount of drivers moving safely. He adds drivers still need to use caution on the roads. 

"The roads may look bare and our anti-icing materials are working but we would just like to remind people that just before the sun comes up and after it goes down icy spots can exist out there and we want to remind people to drive to winter conditions."

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

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.

The City of Calgary says all available equipment is being used to clear city streets amid a dump of snow that began on Tuesday.

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.

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

Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley was removed from the legislative assembly on Tuesday afternoon after she refused to apologize for comments she made about Bill 22.