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Winter arrives in western Canada

Hilary Hagerman, staff writer
November 16, 2011 — A series of low-pressure systems are bringing heavy snow, strong winds and cold temperatures to western Canada.

Road conditions deteriorate across the Prairies
Road conditions deteriorate across the Prairies

There's still several weeks left until the official start to winter, but cold Arctic air has settled in across the Prairies.

Lows in the minus teens were felt across Saskatchewan on Tuesday, and by the end of the week, temperatures in both Alberta and Saskatchewan will be even colder as the Arctic air sinks south.

The freezing temperatures have helped to keep a fresh layer of snow and ice on the ground making for dangerous driving conditions in several areas.

On Monday, an elderly woman was killed and her husband was badly injured on Highway 629, southeast of Edmonton, when the pickup truck he was driving slid off the icy road and crashed into a culvert.

Officials recommend winterizing your vehicle before conditions deteriorate even further during the winter months.

First significant snowfall in BC
First significant snowfall in BC

Meanwhile, a series of low-pressure systems will bring the first significant snowfall of the season to British Columbia this week.

The first system will bring flurries to the southwest interior Wednesday. Snowfall totals could reach up to 10 cm in some areas, with higher amounts in the mountain passes.

“Damaging winds are another thing to look out for Wednesday,” warns Rob Davis, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “Wind gusts up to 100 km/h will develop over the coastal regions through the morning hours.”

A second and even more intense system will dump more snow on Friday. The exact track and strength of the storm remain uncertain, so snowfall amounts can vary.

The northern interior will also get walloped with snow and arctic air will cause temperatures to plunge to -20° C in some places.

With files from Andrea Stockton

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