Powerful winds coming for Edmonton area; snow, freezing rain expected for Alberta

A wind warning was issued for parts of central and southern Alberta on Thursday afternoon and major urban centres like Edmonton, Red Deer and Lethbridge were included.

Environment Canada said a cold front is projected to move the the greater Edmonton area during Friday’s morning commute. According to the weather agency, the weather system will bring “a brief period” of snow in the morning but also wind gusts packing a punch of 90 kilometres per hour “that will last through the day.”

“The strong winds combined with falling snow will create poor visibilities on area roadways through the morning hours,” Environment Canada said on its website. “The cold front, along with the strong wind and snow, will move eastward towards Lloydminster by mid-morning.

“The strong winds will last until the afternoon for the Edmonton Metro Region, and until the evening for areas closer to the Saskatchewan border.”

Watch below: (From Dec. 20, 2018) B.C. Ferries has cancelled multiple sailings on major routes due to a wind warning. Sarah MacDonald has more.

In parts of southern Alberta that were issued a wind warning, Environment Canada said people may experience wind gusts of up to 100 km/h beginning on Thursday evening.

“Strong winds will continue overnight and gradually diminish Friday afternoon,” the weather agency said. “The strong wind gusts are expected to develop at Lethbridge early in the morning and last until the afternoon.

“Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur. Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions due to high winds.”

Snowfall warning issued for parts of Alberta

In other parts of Alberta, Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning on Thursday.

In Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, the weather agency said heavy snow is expected to fall through the night and total snowfall amounts were forecast to reach 15 to 25 centimetres.

“The heavy snow is expected to taper off Friday morning, where an additional two to four centimetres will occur,” Environment Canada said.

“Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow.”

Watch below: (From Oct. 3, 2018) The Alberta Motor Association provides tips on being prepared for winter-driving emergencies

In parts of northern Alberta, including Wood Buffalo, Environment Canada said snowfall totals could reach 10 to 20 centimetres.

“A band of heavy snow has moved into the Peace River region from British Columbia,” the weather agency said. “The band of heavy snow will continue to move east from Peace River towards Fort McMurray by this evening.

“Friday afternoon will also see strong winds with gusts of 50 to 70 km/h which will create poor visibility in snow and blowing snow.”

Freezing rain warning issued for parts of Alberta

In parts of the northern half of the province, a freezing rain warning was issued on Thursday.

“A band of freezing rain is expected to develop late this afternoon into this evening,” Environment Canada said. “The band of freezing rain will stretch from Slave Lake to Cold Lake regions.”

The freezing rain is expected to end by Friday morning.

“Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery,” Environment Canada warned. “Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions.”

For a complete list of weather warnings, watches and advisories in Alberta, click here.

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