Calgary drivers adjust to winter conditions

After a mild October, winter finally hits Calgary. With 20 centimetres of snow expected by Wednesday night, Calgarians are quickly adapting to the elements. Bailey Nitti has more

By Bailey Nitti and Tate Laycraft and Alejandro Melgar

Calgary’s snowfall warning ended after it hit people with up to or more than 20 centimetres on Wednesday, and people have adapted to the elements.

Environment and Climate Change Canada says snow blowing in from the Rocky Mountains led to over 30 centimetres in some mountainous areas.

There are visibility issues due to gusty winds blowing snow on some roads, so installing winter tires is a safe bet to reduce accidents on the road.

“Saw a couple of close calls. One [person] slid through a traffic circle and into a tree, and on the way to the office, there were multiple cars in the ditch on Stoney,” one person told CityNews.

“I gave myself 45 minutes extra to get to work this morning. I’m glad I did because I made it just in time.”

Calgarians have had to adjust to the increased snow, with some workplaces closing early and plans being cancelled.

“We had playdates planned today but took one look out the window and realized shovelling was our date instead today,” said one person to CityNews.

“We collectively agreed to shut the office down at noon today and send everyone home early, so we get home safe,” another person said.

A spokesperson for the City of Calgary told CityNews that snow-clearing crews stick to a tight plan to get significant routes cleared within 36 hours of snowfall.

“We still focus on roads based on a priority system, so that means we will be focusing on Calgary’s highest volume roads first — those are your roads like Crowchild Trail and Glenmore Trail,” said Chris McGeachy with the city.

Temperatures must remain above the -12 to -10 C range so crews can use salt to de-ice roads. The difficulty arises when the temperature drops, making it unsafe to drive.


Kyle Fougere, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, says the abrupt transition from warm to cold can present some unique driving conditions.

“This system that came through, the precipitation initially fell on some warm ground and then froze. So what happens is sometimes you can get a bit of an ice layer on the surface, and when more snow falls, it can be quite slippery,” Fougere said.

He says if people are planning to hit the road for a long-weekend getaway, people should pack an emergency kit to be safe on the road.

For those traveling via plane, the Calgary Airport sees some delays and cancellations, but most flights are departing on time.


Calgary police say 231 crashes happened between 12 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday. People were hurt in 13 of the crashes, while 22 of them were reported as hit-and-runs.

The Calgary Hitmen cancelled their game Wednesday against the Victoria Royals, and many high schools have seen cancellations of their games.

However, LaunchPad Golf, a year-round driving range open all year to golfers, is still expecting plenty of customers this week.

A recent investment from the city suggests that snow clearing gets done quicker than before.

The city says there are no plans to implement a snow route parking ban. Although parking bans typically begin 18 hours after snowfall ends, parking your vehicle on a snow route can result in a $120 ticket and a tow.

For more information on the city’s removal plan or an update on road conditions, visit the city’s website.

Listen live for weather updates after traffic every 10 minutes on the ones. You can also follow us on Twitter @CityNewsCalgary and @CityNews660 or subscribe to breaking news alerts sent directly to your inbox.

-With files from Joey Chini and Logan Stein

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