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Spring snowstorm blasts parts of the Prairies

Snow fell in Edmonton Thursday
Snow fell in Edmonton Thursday

Staff writers

March 23, 2012 — Snow that fell across parts of the Prairies Thursday lead to several accidents on the roads. Another 10-20 cm possible in some places through Saturday.

Snowfall totals Thursday
Snowfall totals Thursday

People in central and eastern Canada may be experiencing summer-like weather and record-breaking temperatures, but winter is still hanging on in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Snow blanketed the Edmonton area on Thursday, leading to problems on the roadways around the evening commute.

Officials says the nasty spring snowstorm turned highways into ice rinks. Poor visibility combined with the slick driving conditions contributed to several accidents.

One included a multi-vehicle collision near Grand Prairie. A Greyhound bus, large trucks and other vehicles were involved, but no injuries were reported.

Another collision on the Trans-Canada Highway, west of Calgary, involved an ambulance and a snowplow. Two paramedics and a patient in the ambulance were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Snow forecast through Saturday
Snow forecast through Saturday

Around 5 cm of snow fell in the Edmonton area, while lesser amounts were recorded in Calgary.

"Although the calendar officially says spring, these late snowstorms in the Prairies are not unusual," says Rob Davis, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "In fact, March is typically the snowiest month for places like Calgary."

Another system pushing into the region has prompted snowfall warnings for all three Prairie provinces. Up to 10 cm of snow is possible in southern Alberta through Saturday with higher amounts expected in northern Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba.

The risk of freezing rain is also there as the cold and warm air battle it out.

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