Whyte Avenue gets ready for patio season as more snow hits Edmonton

Click to play video 'Edmonton early morning weather forecast: Wednesday, May 1, 2019' Edmonton early morning weather forecast: Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Here's Mike Sobel's Wednesday, May 1, 2019 early morning weather forecast for Edmonton, Alberta and the surrounding area.

It’s a sure sign of spring in Edmonton — patio extensions being set up along Whyte Avenue. But what wasn’t quite as springlike Wednesday morning was the light dusting of snow that covered the ground.

Edmonton and the surrounding areas woke up to another gentle reminder of winter on Wednesday morning, with snow on the ground once again. But it didn’t stop crews from setting up patio extensions at Hudsons and Malt & Mortar on Whyte.

“We paid for permits and everything to set up in the one day so when the snow comes around you get a little bit worried that all that permitting and everything you set up for the last month is going to be cancelled on us,” Hudsons general manager Mitch Boyd said.

Malt& Mortar on Whyte sets up patio extensions amid snow in Edmonton Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
Malt& Mortar on Whyte sets up patio extensions amid snow in Edmonton Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Julien Fournier, Global News
Hudsons on Whyte sets up patio extensions amid snow in Edmonton Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
Hudsons on Whyte sets up patio extensions amid snow in Edmonton Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Julien Fournier, Global News

READ MORE: More spring snow in Edmonton on final day of April

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Watch below: Sarah Kraus looks at how the cold start to May is affecting Edmonton’s patio season and athletes.

Click to play video 'Edmontonians face cold start to May' Edmontonians face cold start to May
Edmontonians face cold start to May

Boyd said the chilly temperatures will mean they likely won’t be able to open the patio for at least another week or so.

“I’ve done this for 10 years now and this is the first time I’ve ever seen snow setting it up. It was, I think, 20 C, 22 C last year when we set up,” he said.

“We were fighting to keep people off the patio where now we can’t even open it up probably for another week and a half.”

Below average temperatures and spring snow

April wrapped up below average in terms of temperature, with 14 days below average, 12 above average and four around normal. After hitting a high of 23 C on Monday, April 20, Edmonton finished the month off well below average — only hitting 3 C on Tuesday.

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Mike Sobel, Global News
Mike Sobel, Global News. Mike Sobel, Global News

Last year, the last week of April saw highs in the 15 C to 28 C range, according to Global Edmonton’s chief meteorologist Jesse Beyer. By comparison, some areas of Edmonton saw upwards of 15 centimetres of snow in the last few days of April this year.

The first week of May is expected to bring more rain and perhaps snow, Beyer said, with single-digit high temperatures expected.

Last year on May 1, Edmonton hit a high of 12 C. Today’s high is expected to reach 6 C.

A total of 62 collisions were reported in the city between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m., according to Edmonton police. Officers urged drivers to be mindful of black ice on area roads.

Delayed opening for Edmonton sports fields

Every year, the City of Edmonton says it aims to open city sports fields by May 1, but that hasn’t happened this year; they’re about a week behind schedule.

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“We got a fair amount of late snow and cold temperatures at night and that’s affecting our schedule to be able to open the sports fields,” said Olivier Le Tynevez-Dobel, sports supervisor with the City of Edmonton.

“We were talking last week about the grand opening and everything was good to go, and unfortunately, we had that cold snap over the weekend that really delayed the opening of the fields.”

Le Tynevez-Dobel said the city is very cognizant of the weather, which plays a huge role in determining if they can open the fields. If they open the fields when they’re wet, there is a risk of doing early damage that could last throughout the season.

“There will be greater damage than if it was in months from now where the grass is actively growing and more resistance to the games and equipment from the players.”

Le Tynevez-Dobel said crews will go around to assess the fields and pump out any retaining water. From there, they will seed if needed and add marking lines to the playing surfaces.

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