Winter appears to be on schedule

Snow has arrived pretty much on schedule in Red Deer.

Dawe Recreation Centre facility maintenance worker Bob Kowalchuck uses a spinning brush to clear snow from the sidewalk outside the Dawe Centre Thursday. Temperatures are expected to fall during the day today (FRIDAY) to a low of -24 and stay cold through Saturday before climbing back to the low single digits by Monday and then returning to above freezing by Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

Dawe Recreation Centre facility maintenance worker Bob Kowalchuck uses a spinning brush to clear snow from the sidewalk outside the Dawe Centre Thursday. Temperatures are expected to fall during the day today (FRIDAY) to a low of -24 and stay cold through Saturday before climbing back to the low single digits by Monday and then returning to above freezing by Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

Snow has arrived pretty much on schedule in Red Deer.

On Thursday, five to 15 cm of snow was predicted for the Red Deer region.

Last year, Red Deer started seeing snow on Nov. 15 with about 14 cm falling in three days.

In 2010, Red Deer received 21.4 cm of snow in November and about five cm fell in October.

Last month, Red Deer had only a whiff of snow on Halloween.

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning on Thursday for Red Deer and the surrounding area, including Ponoka, Innisfail and Stettler.

Environment Canada spokesperson Greg Pearce said most of the snow was falling in the north part of the region.

“The thinking is it might slump down a little further south tonight (Thursday) as the arctic front goes south. (Red Deer) should get some more snow this evening,” Pearce said.

The system generated strong easterly winds. Combined with falling snow, visibility was reduced by blowing snow.

Ponoka RCMP Sgt. Nathan Kardish said there were only a few minor vehicle mishaps in the Ponoka area on Thursday morning.

RCMP closed down one lane of traffic after a semi trailer hit a vehicle on Hwy 2 near Lacombe around 10:30 a.m. No injuries were reported.

He recommended people drive according to the road conditions and put on their winter tires. “It always helps.”

The City of Red Deer issued a statement reminding drivers to use caution as the city deals with the first significant snowfall of the season.

Crews were out in full force sanding streets.

“No amount of either equipment or communications can prevent the snow from falling; we do, after all, live in Alberta,” said Red Deer roads superintendent Jim Chase in the statement.

“Our commitment, however, is that we will keep Red Deer roads in good winter driving condition and let you know what we are doing and when we are doing it.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com