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City of Calgary ready for significant snow event this weekend

Equipment – and a new snow route notification system – are ready for deployment as the city of Calgary braces for a potential dump of snow this weekend.

Starting Wednesday night Calgary will see showers that’ll turn into snow by Friday. Temperatures will stay around 3 degrees Celsius during the day and drop to minus temperatures in the evening. 

“This is looking more and more likely it will be the first significant snowfall for the year,” said Kyle Fougere, meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

RELATED: PHOTOS: Winter storm blankets Calgary with thick snow

“We don’t always get snow in September. I looked up the numbers and eight of the last 20 years we’ve had snow. So more often than not we don’t get any, but it’s not uncommon for this time of year to see snow.”

Last year, the first week of October saw substantial snowfall. Fougere said last October ended up being the “snow-iest” October in Calgary’s recorded history – and most of it fell by Oct. 10.

City prepped for snowfall

The City says they are prepared for this weekend’s snowfall. They said their Snow and Ice Control program is organized months before the winter season to account for a variety of weather conditions. Under that program, crews sand, salt and plow roads based on a priority system. The more traffic there is on a roadway, the higher the priority.

“In anticipation of snowfall over the next few days, we have been getting our vehicles and crews ready,” said roads maintenance district manager, Jim Fraser, in a prepared release.

“This first storm of the season will likely result in accumulation of snow on the streets, but the warm road temperatures and mild weather should make this a relatively easy clean-up for us.”

In the meantime, the City is reminding drivers to prepare for potentially slower driving conditions.

“Give yourself a little bit of extra time, plan for delays, slow down and drive to the conditions,” Fraser said.

Drivers are reminded to leave at least 10 metres distance between your vehicle and the working sanders, graders and other snow removal equipment. Drivers are also reminded not to pass working sanders or equipment.

The City is also launching a new Snow Route notification system where citizens, particularly those who live on snow routes, are encouraged to sign up for text and e-mail notifications.

Some parts of Alberta have already seen snowfall

Some parts of the province have already had snowfall. Last week, Environment Canada said they received reports of snow in the foothills and mountain parks.

Towards the end of the week, however, the service said Southern Alberta has the potential to see the white stuff. 

“It’s really difficult this far out to say how much we’re going to get in the city of Calgary,” Fougere said.

“It has been above normal and I think people are still kind of in the summer mindset. If anyone has travel plans, just really make sure you stay in touch with the weather and keep an eye out for any watches or warnings.”

As for if the snow will stick around, Fougere said it’s too early to predict whether or not we’re going to have a significant warm up after the system moves through. But it’s likely we’ll see some clear ground again before winter really sets in.

For a look at the latest forecast ahead for Calgary head to Environment Canada.