Calgary roads might get icy as snow falls, city warns

·2 min read
Warmer road temperatures were causing snow to melt as it hit the ground, said the city's Chris McGeachy on Friday. He said ice could form on roads, sidewalks and cycle tracks as the temperature dropped overnight. (Dan McGarvey/CBC - image credit)
Warmer road temperatures were causing snow to melt as it hit the ground, said the city's Chris McGeachy on Friday. He said ice could form on roads, sidewalks and cycle tracks as the temperature dropped overnight. (Dan McGarvey/CBC - image credit)

Snow began falling Friday afternoon in Calgary and prompted the city to warn that icy roads might pose a danger over the Halloween weekend.

Between two and four centimetres of snow fell during the day, according to Environment Canada, and another two centimetres were expected in the evening, stopping around midnight.

At least so far, the city seems to have dodged previous forecasts that suggested a bigger snowfall of up to 10 centimetres.

However, warmer road temperatures were causing snow to melt as it hit the ground, the city's Chris McGeachy said in a snow update Friday. He noted that lower overnight temperatures could result in ice forming on roads, sidewalks and cycle tracks.

Dan McGarvey/CBC
Dan McGarvey/CBC

"So use extra caution, especially during those morning hours before the sun comes out," McGeachy said.

"We encourage Calgarians to plan for the upcoming snowfall by ensuring their vehicles are winterized and cleared of snow prior to departure, leaving plenty of time for their commute and, if driving on the roads, driving carefully and leaving plenty of space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front."

The city said it is monitoring weather forecasts and crews are preparing to handle the snow.

Kyle Fougere, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, told CBC News on Thursday that it's typical to see the first significant snowfall in southern Alberta before the end of October.

He noted the city has had a relatively mild October so far.

"This is going to be a pretty big change," he said.

Snow tires and skis

At the OK Tire on 17th Avenue S.W., calls for winter tires have already picked up, co-owner Greg Gillett said Friday.

But he advises Calgarians to make the change sooner rather than later.

Global supply problems caused by the pandemic have made orders a bit harder to fill this year, he said.

"If you're pushing off the decision, you might be disappointed in what's available when you come, or there may be nothing available," Gillett said.

Dan McGarvey/CBC
Dan McGarvey/CBC

Snowboard and ski enthusiasts are also advised to buy their gear and apparel sooner rather than later.

At Ski Cellar, manager Annalise Astley said the store saw some of its supply slow down, but it's now fully stocked and expecting to receive everything that's been ordered.

And while Calgary drivers might be bracing themselves for cooler temperatures, Astley is delighted to see the weather change.

"We are super excited about the first snowfall every year," she said.

"Last year, we had an amazing season. The snow was great. This year, we're expecting the same."

For more on the weather forecasts, visit the Environment Canada website.

Snap any snowfall pictures this weekend? Share your snow photos with us on Facebook, Instagram or at calgaryphotos@cbc.ca

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