As if to make up for a dry winter, Mother Nature delivered a month’s worth of spring snow on Red Deer in one big dump.
From 10 to 15 cm of snow fell on the city from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday morning, while our average snowfall for the month is about 14 cm, said Sara Hoffman, a meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada.
As a result, many Red Deerians had to haul their shovels, snowblowers and windshield-scrapers out of storage.
City of Red Deer roads crews were also out with snow plows, graders and sanders early on Wednesday. The 10 plows and four graders were clearing main arterial routes before starting on bus routes.
Roads superintendent Doug Halldorson said he’s learned to be prepared for any kind of weather, especially this time of year. “We usually have a spring storm here and there… It could snow in March, April, May or June — almost every month.”
Hoffman confirmed that it isn’t uncommon for the Red Deer region to see a lot of white stuff in April — and the snow often comes all at once in the spring.
While it’s bad for public morale to be pulled back into winter, grain farmers tend to appreciate a good ground-soaking a few weeks before seeding time.
Hoffman said a low pressure located just north of Red Deer, as well as a very active cold-front, created the right conditions for significant snowfall. Many parts of the province were hit with it, but unevenly.
Hoffman said snow fell in localized areas. For instance, certain parts of Calgary got up to 30 cm of snow, while other parts received barely a dusting. The snowy conditions carried over to Edmonton and even Lloydminster.
Looking at the week ahead, Hoffman said Red Deer’s weather will warm as the weekend approaches. Temperatures in the double digits — highs of 12 C to 13 C — are forecast for Saturday through Tuesday.
But thermometers are expected to dip again to unseasonable highs of 8 C or 9 C for the last part of April until about May 5.
Since overnight temperatures will continue to be below freezing for that period, Hoffman said she can’t rule snow out of the forecast.
She ominously added the average snowfall in this region for May is 8.5 cm.