Strong wind warning issued as snow blows in to Calgary

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Strong wind warnings have been issued for Calgary, as winter storms blow in to the southern and eastern parts of the province.

Environment Canada said an intense winter storm developing in the northwest U.S. will spread heavy snow across the southern part of the province beginning Saturday night until early Monday morning.

Around 20 to 40 centimetres of snow is expected between Pincher Creek and Medicine Hat, with higher snowfall likely in the Crowsnest Pass and near Cypress Hills.

In Calgary, strong northerly winds of up to 90 km/h are possible into Saturday evening and after midnight, Environment Canada said in an alert issued at 5:15 p.m. The city is expecting around two to four centimetres of snow, with the wind chill feeling as cold as -22 C overnight.

The winter weather brought poor road conditions, with multiple multi-vehicle crashes shutting down Deerfoot Trail between Douglasdale Boulevard and Barlow Trail around 7 p.m.

The winds, in combination with falling snow, could reduce visibility, and loose objects could be tossed, causing injuries or property damage.

Strong winds in the range of 60 to 80 km/h were also expected to produce sudden whiteout conditions in areas south of Red Deer and east of Highway 2. The winds were expected to diminish by Sunday afternoon.

"Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve. Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult. Visibility will be suddenly reduced to near zero at times in heavy snow and blowing snow," Environment Canada said.

The heavy snow had already blanketed Edmonton as of early Saturday evening.

An up-to-date list of weather alerts is available on Environment Canada's website.