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Gradually improving in Alberta


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Snow1

May 6, 2010 — Light snow is still falling in parts of Southern Alberta, but conditions are improving and the snow is easing.

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Snow2

We're nearly half-way through the spring season, but try telling that to anyone in Alberta.

The province has been coping with winter's leftovers this week. Heavy amounts of snow have been falling since Tuesday, leaving most people no choice but to get the shovel and snow-blower back out of storage.

In most parts of the province, the worst is over, but some light snow is still falling in the southern parts of the provinces.

“Places like Crowsnest Pass and Pincher Creek could get an additional 5cm of snow,” says Weather Network meteorologist Gerald Cheng.

That's on top of the heavy amounts that have already fallen in those communities.

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Snow3

Edmonton was hit particularly hard by this week's blast of winter. 16.8cm of snow was recorded at the city's International Airport on Tuesday. That's a new record! And while the snow was fun for some, it caused a multitude of problems for others.

The snow, combined with strong winds, led to several vehicle accidents throughout the day on Tuesday. A tractor trailer jack-knifed on the Queen Elizabeth II Highway, forcing it to close at one point. Highways north and northwest of Edmonton also faced extremely poor conditions.

Close to 17,000 homes were left without electricity and dozens of flights were cancelled or delayed coming in and out of the city. In the southern part of the province, the winds were clocking in well over 100km/h in some places.

“It's very wintery out there,” says Cheng. “In addition to heavy snow, the provinces are also dealing with below-seasonal temperatures.”

The good news? Conditions are slowly improving.

“The trough is making it's way out and by Friday the province should see more sun as high pressure moves in,” explains Cheng. This will however be a gradual improvement and temperatures will take their time climbing back into more seasonal values over the next few days.

It may not seem like it right away, but there are positives associated with this week's spring storm. Farmers are concerned about the potential for drought this summer, so the melting snow could give fields a much needed quenching. In Edmonton, a partial fire ban that was issued about two weeks ago has now been lifted. The mix of snow and rain has decreased the risk of fires in the region.

For more details on what you can expect in Alberta as we head into the weekend, make sure you tune into The Weather Network on TV. Your National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.

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