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Second storm blasts the Prairies

What happened to fall? Click on the photo to see more of the snow across the Prairies
What happened to fall? Click on the photo to see more of the snow across the Prairies

Lyndsay Morrison and Andrea Stockton staff writers

November 18, 2010 — After a brief break from the wintery conditions, another significant storm is bringing anywhere between 5 and 25 cm of snow to parts of the Prairies.

Snow removal crews in Calgary working around the clock
Snow removal crews in Calgary working around the clock

Albertans braved the first significant winter storm of the year earlier this week. A system moved into the province on Monday night bringing heavy snow and icy conditions with it. Calgary saw just under 10 cm of snow, while Springbank saw closer to 15 cm.

The early arrival of winter was an unpleasant surprise for some residents. “I was feeling very cold and was sorry I had to get up so early to dig out my car,” says one Calgarian. “I don't like the snow and I don't like the cold, but it's Calgary so what can you expect?” says another resident.

November snowstorms certainly aren't out of the question in Alberta, and already the province is seeing round two of winter.

“Snow began falling again in Alberta Wednesday evening and the region can expect another five to ten centimetres through Thursday. That's on top of what's already fallen,” says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist here at The Weather Network. Dillon adds that areas along the foothills could see even higher amounts.

The Weather Network's Chris Murphy flew out to Calgary Wednesday afternoon and he says it's not just the snow that has people shivering.

“The first thing that you notice is that it's a lot colder here,” says Murphy. Over night lows are dipping to the minus 20's and daytime highs range from minus five to minus ten. And Murphy says these cold conditions aren't helping with road conditions. “Nothing has melted. The drive from the airport was a little slush covered, I didn't see any accidents, but traffic is understandably very slow and very busy.”

Snow removal crews in Calgary are out in full force and say they're prepared for whatever Mother Nature brings. 10 million dollars has been added to the snow clearing budget this year to help keep all residential streets safe. The city is also introducing echelon plowing, the practice of staggered snowplows across all lanes of a roadway in one direction. They says it's the safest and most efficient way to remove snow for multi-lane roads.

Snowfall totals expected across the Prairies
Snowfall totals expected across the Prairies

Road conditions in Saskatchewan are expected to deteriorate over the next couple of days as well.

“This next system will affect major cities in Saskatchewan,” says Dillon. “Southern areas including Regina could see up to 10 cm of snow through Friday.”

Terry Clovechok is with the AMA Road Report. He says all drivers need to adjust their habits during the winter months.

“You know, all of a sudden they're doing the speed limit... on black ice and they find themselves in the ditch,” says Clovechok. “They just have to slow down.” Clovechok adds that drivers should dress warmly and check the weather forecast before heading out.

Here is a list of items you may want to consider keeping in your car as a precaution:

  • A cell phone and recharger
  • List of important phone numbers (family, doctors, towing companies)
  • Ice scraper and brush
  • Booster cables
  • Roads maps
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Blanket
  • First-aid kit
  • Extra windshield washer fluid and antifreeze
  • Sand or salt
  • A collapsible shovel
  • Road flares
  • Emergency food pack with non-perishable food items
  • Tow rope
  • Spare tire
  • An extra pair of clothes
  • Whistle

To stay up-to-date on the current weather conditions, be sure to check your local forecast. You can also tune in to The Weather Network on TV, where the National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.

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