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Record breaking snow for Calgary


Jill Colton, staff writer

April 15, 2011 — Calgary smashed a one-day snowfall record on Thursday -- breaking a record that's been holding strong for 110 years.

Additional snowfall expected
Additional snowfall expected

Does April snow bring May flowers?

Calgary residents are probably wondering what happened to spring after 23 cm was noted at Calgary International Airport on Thursday -- breaking the record for the most snowfall on April 14. The last time the city saw that much of a wallop on the same day was back in 1901 (17.8 cm).

Other areas throughout the city actually saw upwards of 30 cm pile up.

According to Environment Canada, a weather disturbance from BC moved into southern Alberta on Wednesday evening, bringing heavy snow into the foothills.

Despite the fact the calendar says April, other parts of Alberta also reported accumulations including: Edmonton International Airport (8 cm), Red Deer (11 cm), Lethbridge (6-17 cm), Cochrane (10-12 cm) and Stony Plain (16 cm).

Although it's spring, this type of weather isn't unusual for Alberta. “Some of the highest snow totals for Calgary happen in April and May, which is why this isn't a shock for residents,” says Rob Davis, another meteorologist here at The Weather Network.

Making the most of the snow in Calgary.
Making the most of the snow in Calgary.

The reason behind the wintery weather has a lot to do with temperature fluctuations.

“This time of year it's cold enough to snow, but late enough in the year low pressure systems tend to draw in more moisture.”

Dayna Vettese, another meteorologist here at The Weather Network, says that even more snow is in the forecast over the weekend.

“Calgary could see an additional 5-10 cm through Saturday whereas Jasper could get dumped with nearly 15 cm.”

The snowy conditions will almost certainly impact the Red River, which is prone to severe flooding at this time of year.

Earlier this week, the rise in temperatures and rapid snow-melt for the southeastern parts of the province triggered run-off.

A state of emergency was declared in Medicine Hat on Tuesday, but was later dropped after a dam was stabilized.

For a closer look at what you can expect with this system, be sure to check your local forecast. You can also sign up to receive updates on watches and warnings to your cell phone.

With files from Lyndsay Morrison

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