Snow, heavy winds and freezing rain could cause issues for drivers in Alberta

·3 min read
Snow piles up at the Lake Louise Ski Resort in 2016. A weather alert was issued for Banff National Park Sunday.  (Lake Louise Ski Resort  - image credit)
Snow piles up at the Lake Louise Ski Resort in 2016. A weather alert was issued for Banff National Park Sunday. (Lake Louise Ski Resort - image credit)

Environment Canada has issued weather warnings for many areas in Alberta Sunday, with Banff National Park expected to be particularly affected by snow and heavy winds.

In Banff, heavy snowfall is expected Sunday through Monday, the alert said, with 10 cm to 30 cm of snowfall expected by Monday night. This alert affects areas near the town of Banff, Lake Louise, Saskatchewan River Crossing, and Siffleur Wilderness Area.

The snow is expected to intensify on Monday with an additional 15 cm between the Castle Junction and Lake Louise areas, and another 5 to 10 cm near Banff. Environment Canada says the snow will recede on Tuesday.

Canmore Fire Rescue tweeted Sunday that strong, damaging winds are expected today.

"Strong southwesterly winds will develop this morning, with gusts near 100 kilometres. High profile vehicles may be in danger of tipping over in cross winds," the group said.

High profile vehicles include semis, container trucks, trailers, and in some cases SUVs.

"Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions. Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. Public Safety Canada encourages everyone to make an emergency plan and get an emergency kit with drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and a flashlight," the alert for Banff said.

There is also a risk of freezing rain in the Calgary area starting Sunday night and continuing into Monday afternoon, according to Environment Canada.

Municipal crews are applying anti-icing agent to certain areas such as hills, intersections, sidewalks and turning lanes to prepare for freezing rain, the City of Calgary said in a news release on Sunday.

The city recommends Calgarians winterize their cars, keep a snow brush in their vehicles, plan routes ahead of time and leave extra time for driving. Calgary Transit will update its website with information about possible route impacts.

"As temperatures drop tonight, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, as well as some roads, could become extremely slippery," the news release said.

"Calgarians are asked to use caution when walking, cycling and driving."

As of 8:30 a.m., weather warnings were in place for Cardston, Okotoks, Kananaskis, Jasper National Park, Crowsnest Pass, and surrounding areas.

Shara Pixley
Shara Pixley

Special weather statements were also issued by Environment Canada for much of the southern part of the province Sunday, including areas around the City of Edmonton, Drayton Valley, Fort Saskatchewan, Hanna, Hinton, Leduc, Lloydminster, Nordegg, Spruce Grove, Whitecourt, Red Deer, and Rocky Mountain House.

Environment Canada also issued a snowfall warning for Edmonton on Sunday evening. The weather agency said regions near the city may get between two and four centimetres of snow Monday, and an additional 10 to 15 centimetres overnight Tuesday.

A winter storm warning was also issued for the Bonnyville area. Heavy snowfall is expected starting Monday afternoon, with a total of approximately 30 centimetres by Tuesday night.

Albertans can monitor forecasts and alerts on the Environment Canada website. To report severe weather, you can email Environment Canada at ABstorm@ec.gc.ca or tweet using the hashtag #ABStorm.

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