Blizzard warning issued in southern Alberta; schools closed, flights cancelled
Published Monday, December 2, 2013 12:42PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 2, 2013 9:02PM EST
Southern Alberta remains under a blizzard warning with strong winds and upwards of 30 centimeters expected to fall by Tuesday morning.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi took to Twitter on Monday to urge residents to avoid the roads and work from home if possible.
"If you must be on the roads today, please leave extra time, drive courteously, be safe, consider @calgary transit," Nenshi tweeted.
Calgary roads were congested Monday, with 11 vehicles piling up just off of the Calgary provincial freeway Stoney Trail at around noon.
Following mild weekend weather, snow began falling in southern Alberta late Sunday night. Environment Canada is forecasting between 15 and 30 centimetres of snow, to be accompanied by strong northerly winds, will fall by Tuesday morning.
Between midnight and 10 a.m. on Monday, Calgary police responded to about 27 collisions.
The worst conditions are expected from Red Deer through to Lethbridge, with northerly winds becoming gusting to 80 km/h, and visibilities near zero at times, according to Environment Canada.
The agency warned that a “very cold Arctic airmass” will hover over the province for the remainder of the week.
A number of Alberta schools were closed Monday and bus routes were cancelled.
Calgary International Airport issued a travel advisory, warning that some flight have been cancelled or delayed because of the storm.
CTV Calgary’s Stephanie Brennan told New Channel Monday morning that some areas of the province are already reporting whiteout conditions on highways.
“It’s not the snow that’s going to cause major problems over the next 24 hours. It’s the wind gusts,” she said.
A winter storm warning is also in effect in southern Saskatchewan, with 10 to 15 centimeters of snow forecasted, along with wind gusts up to 60 km/h.
Arctic winds are expected to sweep across the province by mid-week, with temperatures only expected to reach a high of minus 20 C.
CTV's Janet Dirks has been following the situation closely, posting pictures of the weather conditions to her Twitter account.
Speed the Plough? It will be tough as snow is expected to continue into Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/i5AR8zT06i— JanetDirks (@janetdirks) December 2, 2013
Did I say "near" white-out conditions? This is sheer white out on the highway north of Calgary. Trecherous. pic.twitter.com/633Mc0Yhzy— JanetDirks (@janetdirks) December 2, 2013
Weeks before Christmas, Cross Iron Mills should be hopping busy but the pking lot of the mega mall is pretty empty. pic.twitter.com/gnjetZ57nu— JanetDirks (@janetdirks) December 2, 2013