UPDATE: 8:40 p.m. -- Environment Canada continues a heavy snow fall warning for Southern Alberta. Parks Canada is not recommending travel on Highway 93 between Lake Louise and Saskatchewan due to road conditions. Avalanche risk is also high in some areas of Yoho, Kooetnay, and Banff national parks, reports Global Calgary, and a route near Canmore had to be temporarily closed due to an avalanche. Between five to thirteen centimeters of snow fell Thursday afternoon and another 10 centimeters can be expected in eastern regions overnight. Environment Canada expects snow to taper off Friday morning. Regions affected by the warning include Crowsnet Pass, Pincher Creek, Cardston, Fort Macleod, Magrath, Lethbridge, Taber, Milk River, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, Medicine Hat, Bow Island and Suffield.
UPDATE: 3:00 p.m. -- The City of Calgary has issued a snow route parking ban effective from 6 a.m. on Friday morning.
A dump of more than nine centimetres overnight has Calgarians reaching for their shovels this morning and getting ready for a weekend cold snap.
The snow is expected to taper off by Thursday night, but Environment Canada says temperatures are expected to plummet throughout the day. Thursday evening will hit a low of -19 C, with a windchill of -27 C. Those temperatures will continue through the weekend before it begins to warm up again on Monday.
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The sudden blast of snow, which began around dinner time Wednesday, took many commuters by surprise. Calgary police were kept busy since last night, responding to a number of collisions caused by slippery roads.
Overnight there were 45 crashes reported, five of which caused injuries.
The City of Calgary said crews began plowing Wednesday evening as the cold front moved in. Crews will focus on priority one routes, which include streets like Memorial Drive and Crowchild Trial.
Parking bans are not expected at this time, however.
Highways around Southern Alberta are also experiencing bad driving conditions and RCMP are warning motorists to be careful.
Highway 2 north of Red Deer is experiencing poor visibility and ice, with dozens of vehicles careening into the ditch last night.