12/28/2013 12:33 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 01:38 EST

Calgary Flash Freeze Leaves Roads And Highways In Bad Shape

Henryk Sadura via Getty Images

The flash freeze warning has ended for Calgary, but now motorists have to contend with nightmare highway and road conditions.

Environment Canada has ended the wind warning for Calgary, which saw temperatures plunge Friday evening from 9 C to -19 C, and winds of up to 90 kilometres per hour, but drivers are being warned slippery road conditions are the real threat of the day.

Friday night's high winds brought whiteout conditions on highways near Calgary, prompting police to close some roads.

Highway 2 south of Bowden was shut down Friday evening and multiple collisions on Highway 1 near Cluny brought the road to a standstill, while crews worked to clear snow.

RCMP also advised motorists to avoid travel on Highway 9 between Drumheller and Hanna, due to poor road conditions, as well as Highway 2 between Calgary and Edmonton and Highway 1 from Calgary to Bassano.

Olds Fire Department and the Bowden Fire Department arranged buses and emergency services to a few dozen stranded motorists, transporting them to local emergency shelters.

Shortly after noon Saturday, police reported icy patches as a problem around Red Deer and Innisfail.

After a balmy few days over Christmas and Boxing Day, Mother Nature's change of heart is a reminder of how fickle winters in southern Alberta can be.

Just four centimetres of snow fell on Calgary, but the sudden swing in temperature was a shock to many.

The plunge in mercury is supposed to be short-lived, however. Environment Canada is calling for a high of -11 C Saturday, but things are supposed to warm up significantly by Sunday.

For the latest weather and road reports, follow Environment Canada and Alberta 511.

Police remind motorists to be prepared for winter driving conditions and to carry with them blankets and supplies necessary to stay warm, in case they become stranded.

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