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Major snowstorm whallops Alberta and Saskatchewan

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Alberta snowfall
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This picture from Twitter user @MsJsClass shows snowfall in central Alberta. (Twitter)

A major storm sweeping through the prairies dumped up to 30 cm of snow across parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan over the weekend, and while it meant some early winter fun for some, it also created a commuter nightmare on the snowy, icy roads that resulted in multiple accidents.

Alberta caught the brunt of this snowstorm on Saturday, as it swept down out of the mountains to blanket Edmonton and Calgary with 10 to 15 cm of snow. The areas worst hit were in between the two major cities, though, as communities such as Nordegg and Red Deer saw up to 30 cm of snowfall by the time they woke up on Sunday morning. The wintry weather continued through the day on Sunday in southern Alberta, while the system continued to plow eastward, pushing the snow into southern and central Saskatchewan.

Southern parts of Saskatchewan only saw some light snowfall starting Sunday evening and continuing throughout the night, but it was the central part of the province, from Lloydminster through Saskatoon and up towards Cumberland House, that have seen and still expect to see the heaviest snowfall. As of noon today, snowfall amounts reached up to 10 cm in North Battleford, 7 cm in Saskatoon, and up to around 15 cm in communities north of there. The highest amounts reported so far are between 30-40 cm in the Waskesiu Lake area.

Driving conditions in both provinces are still considered hazardous, with over 130 accidents reported just in and around the city of Calgary, and another 10 crashes reported on Highway 2 between Edmonton and Calgary. One particularly bad wreck northwest of the Calgary on Sunday morning, involving an SUV that rolled over onto its roof, sent a woman and two children to the hospital for treatment of their injuries.

Many roads through both Alberta and Saskatchewan are still labeled as snow-covered today, and there are some through western Saskatchewan — specifically those leading out of North Battleford — where travel is not recommended or the roads are closed entirely.

Alberta road conditions are updated regularly on the province's website, and at the Alberta Motor Association website. The government of Saskatchewan updates road conditions in the province on their website.

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The snow has ended in Alberta by now, and has tapered off to just some flurries and light snow central and southern Saskatchewan.

Light snow has also pushed into southern Manitoba as this weather system continues to track to the northwest, towards Hudson Bay. Snowfall warnings are in effect for northern regions of the province, including Flin Flon-Cranberry Portage-Snow Lake and Thompson-Nelson House-Split Lake.

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