Skip to main content

North winds creating icy conditions on Alberta highways


Since Monday, there has been a steady decline in weather conditions for portions of southern Alberta.

A frontal system introduced a cold air mass along with precipitation that started as rain and transitioned to snow.

Late on Tuesday, winds intensified out of the north/northwest and remained steady throughout the morning.

This “perfect storm” of strong, cold winds blowing over wet roads with a near-surface temperature around 0 C caused sections of area roadways to ice up.

As of 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, 511 Alberta had rated many highways in central and southern Alberta as snow-covered and icy.

Alberta road conditions on the morning of April 17, 2024. (511 Alberta)

Winds are expected to remain persistently strong out of the north at around 40 km/h, with gusts over 70 km/h for much of the day, creating a wind-chill value that will make it feel about six to nine degrees colder than the ambient temperature.

The wind forecast for Calgary on April 17, 2024. (CTV News)

While these winds are strong, they are expected to remain below the threshold to trigger a wind warning for the province.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) will issue wind warnings in most of Alberta if there is a sustained wind of 70 km/h or more, and/or wind gusts of 90 km/h or more.

Areas in southwestern Alberta (including Lethbridge) have a higher threshold for wind warnings of at least 80 km/h sustained winds and/or at least 100 km/h or more for gusts.

The low-pressure system associated with this winter weather will continue to track east throughout the day Wednesday, but seasonal conditions will remain elusive for Calgary.

A ridge of high pressure that stalled over the eastern Pacific is not expected to move until the end of the week, suppressing daytime highs in Calgary to max out around 2 C until the end of the week.

Central and southern Alberta can expect more sunshine starting Thursday, with a return to double-digit daytime highs by Sunday.

Seven-day temperature trend for Calgary from April 17-23, 2024. (CTV News)

Visit ECCC for the latest weather warnings and 511 Alberta for current road conditions. Top Stories

Stay Connected