EDMONTON – Freezing rain conditions followed by heavy snowfall have prompted Environment Canada to issue winter storm warnings for parts of Alberta.
“Like most weather events, some areas will be harder hit than others,” said Global Edmonton’s chief meteorologist Jesse Beyer.
The colourful warnings map for Friday shows just that — some areas with freezing rain warnings only, some areas with snowfall warnings only, and a large chunk of the province under a combined winter storm warning.
“Even with a light band of freezing rain or mixed precipitation and flurries, travel will be an issue,” Beyer warned.
FREEZING RAIN, WINTER STORM & SNOWFALL WARNINGS issued across Alberta. Here’s the updated map. (3:30pm Friday) pic.twitter长沙桑拿/1wi0vUS6tk
— Jesse Beyer (@jessebeyerWX) January 22, 2016
Mild temperatures were welcomed early Friday as a reprieve from the cold, but that warmth has also contributed to the dynamic weather system. Warm air at very high levels of the atmosphere resulted in rain for many areas. But near-freezing temperatures at surface levels resulted in a frozen glaze to form from that rain.
The Environment Canada winter storm warning stated that the “freezing rain will be followed by snowfall, which will be heavy at times.”
In all, areas under the winter storm warnings can expect 10 to 15 centimetres of snow on top of slick ice covered surfaces.
Area under snowfall warnings could expect 10 to 20 centimetres by Saturday afternoon.
“Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow,” the warning page continued. “If visibility is reduced while driving, slow down, watch for tail lights ahead and be prepared to stop.”