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Heavy snow, intense winds could hit Calgary soon

Last Updated Oct 16, 2020 at 10:58 am MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – As an intense cold front moves through southern Alberta, Calgary could get hit with a sudden blast of snow.

The city and surrounding communities are currently under a snow squall watch, meaning heavy snow and winds could hit at any time.

Areas west and north of the city, including Lak Louise, Red Deer are starting to see snow, with the winds making for poor visibility.

Weather specialist Michelle Yi with Breakfast Television said Calgary could see roughly six to 10 centimetres of snow.

“The snow will continue overnight but the good news is we shouldn’t be seeing any more snow in the city until at least next week.”

Yi added it’s not just the snow you should worry about but the heavy winds that accompany it.

“The blowing snow is going to create very limited visibility and also, we’re starting off this winter storm with rain and so it will be freezing and we are going to have reduced traction as well so driving this afternoon could get quite treacherous.”

Meanwhile, Meteorologist Alisa Pederson with Environment Canada said the brunt of the snow will likely hit Calgary Friday afternoon.

“The storm is actually developing somewhere around Calgary and when that happens this afternoon, so the snow will come in. Once the cold front moves through, that’s when we’re expecting, possibly, deteriorating conditions with low visibility and very strong winds.”

WATCH: Michelle Yi’s weekend forecast

As this could be Calgary’s first real taste of winter, the Alberta Motor Association (AMA) said it’s a reminder to start using winter tires on your vehicle.

“Swapping to winter tires are going to give you the best traction on snow and ice that’s going to reduce your stopping distance and provide much better control,” said Brandon Klassen with the AMA.

“They have really aggressive treads which are designed to dig into snow and slush. Which means wide grooves between the treads and that helps expel the snow and slush and helps maintain good road contact.”

Following the snowfall over the Thanksgiving weekend, many tire shops in Calgary have already seen high demand for winter tires.

Many shop owners said they’re backed up at least two weeks and have had to call in extra staff to help.

“We’ve been working 7:30 to nine o’ clock every day just trying to keep everyone getting their service in and out,” said Martin Kasinski with OK Tire in northwest Calgary.

Some shops have also reported a shortage in certain types of winter tires during the pandemic due to factory closures.