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Winter storm blasts parts of western Canada

Snow piles up in Brandon, Manitoba
Snow piles up in Brandon, Manitoba

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

November 18, 2011 — From BC to Manitoba, people are dealing with heavy snow and gusty winds, courtesy of a strong winter storm.

Temperatures are set to plunge this weekend
Temperatures are set to plunge this weekend

It was a snowy week in many parts of western Canada.

On Thursday, parts of Alberta were coping with their first significant snowstorm of the year. Snow plows were deployed throughout the city of Edmonton, and by the early morning hours on Friday, 8 cm of snow had accumulated.

“A low that formed off the southern Rockies, is what brought the heavy snow and gusty winds,” says Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

The system began tracking into Saskatchewan and Manitoba Thursday night, and brought heavy snow to some communities. By Friday evening, 20 cm of snow had fallen in McCreary, Manitoba, while roughly 5 cm had fallen in the city of Winnipeg.

On Thursday night, snow also began fallen on parts of Vancouver Island and the lower mainland. Many residents woke up to a snowy, slushy scene in Metro Vancouver on Friday morning.

Drivers are being reminded to adhere to the conditions and make sure their vehicle is ready for winter.

Snow blankets the ground in Oyen, Alberta
Snow blankets the ground in Oyen, Alberta

Conditions have been treacherous on BC's Coquihalla Highway as well. A major snowfall stopped hundreds of vehicles in both directions early in the day on Thursday.

Officials say the heavy snow and slick roads caught most drivers off guard. The Ministry of Highways recommended that drivers avoid unnecessary travel.

Along with snow falling in the interior of BC, flurries were also reported in the city of Vancouver early Friday morning.

While the onset of heavy snow is making it feel like winter across the west, temperatures have also been plunging in parts of the Prairies.

Lows in the minus teens were felt across Alberta and Saskatchewan on Thursday, and by Friday, temperatures will be even colder as the Arctic air sinks south.

“Several places across the Prairies will see temperatures dip into the -20's,” says Gerlad Cheng, another meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Stay up-to-date on the weather watches and warnings in your area by heading to the Alerts section of the website.

With files from Andrea Stockton

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