Temperatures will drop this weekend during Calgary cold snap

Click to play video: '‘It’s pretty nasty’: Calgarians working outside prepare to shiver through cold snap' ‘It’s pretty nasty’: Calgarians working outside prepare to shiver through cold snap
WATCH: Braving the elements is tough for anyone in Calgary when frigid winter conditions hit the city. And as Gil Tucker reports, it’s especially tough when your job takes you outside for long periods of time – Jan 9, 2020

Cold, winter weather is coming to Calgary this weekend with a forecasted high on Saturday, Jan. 11 of -14 C followed by a high on Sunday, Jan. 12 of -22 C.

READ MORE: Calgary's seven day weather forecast

The cold weather is thanks to a trough in the jet stream that will dig into western Canada, pulling down a series of cold arctic highs, and allowing frigid northern air to flood into the province.

The average high for this time of year is -3 C, according to Environment Canada.

The national weather agency says the record low for Jan. 11 is -39 C, recorded in 1997. The record low for Jan. 12, meanwhile, is -42 C, recorded in 1911.

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How to prepare for the cold weather

Global News/Cody Coates. Global News/Cody Coates

Prepare your home

Extreme cold can cause a lot of issues for your home, but you can avoid a disaster by checking your furnace and pipes, and clearing out eavestroughs to prevent ice from damming.

“A water break will cause lots of property damage and you definitely want to prevent that,” said Brian Kinzell with Roto-Rooter.

Prepare your vehicle

Aside from testing your battery before driving, the Alberta Motor Association also recommends plugging in your vehicle at night and packing a winter emergency kit.

“These are not the days you want to be breaking down. If your vehicle has a battery that’s three to five years old, make sure you’re getting that checked so it’s running top-notch when you go to start your vehicle in the morning,” said Ryan Lemont, AMA’s manager of driver education.

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Prepare your pets

If you have pets that need to go outside, make sure you bundle them up and avoid getting them wet.

Limit their time outside and routinely check paws for cracks or sores.

Prepare yourself

Don’t forget about yourself: dress in warm layers and stay hydrated by drinking more water and less caffeine and alcohol.

And finally, be a good neighbour by checking in on those around you.

SkyTracker. SkyTracker

How the City of Calgary is preparing roads for the cold

In addition to the bitter cold, Calgarians can expect scattered snowfall throughout the weekend.

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The City of Calgary said road crews are laying down an anti-icing material in anticipation of the cold weather. Spokesperson Chris McGeachy said once the mercury drops, they’ll switch to gravel to help improve traction.

“We just want to remind people to drive to winter conditions, especially after the sun goes down. The temperature has already dropped significantly. Watch for those icy spots, including hills, bridge decks… Make sure you get to where you need to go safely,” he said.

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When the snowfall ends, the city will activate its seven-day snow clearing plan and begin clearing Priority 1 routes that carry 20,000 vehicles a day, like Crowchild Trail and Glenmore Trail.

Once Priority 1 roads are cleared, crews focus on Priority 2 routes — roads that carry 5,000 to 19,999 vehicles a day — like Kensington Road and Acadia Drive.

Crews then turn to clearing Priority 3 and 4 routes, which include residential areas and school and playground zones.


The City of Calgary has a snow removal budget of just under $40 million between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31.

Learn more about snow-route parking bans

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A snow route parking ban will go into effect on Saturday at 10 a.m.
 A snow-route parking ban will go into effect on Saturday at 10 a.m. Tim Lee / Global News

It’s not anticipated a snow-route parking ban will be put in place.

The parking bans are put in effect on the city’s snow routes when Calgary has seen a significant accumulation of snow.

Snow routes are indicated by blue signs with a white snowflake symbol. Any vehicles left on snow routes during the ban can be ticketed or towed.

Once called, snow-route parking bans can be in place for up to 72 hours. On-street accessible parking is exempt from snow-route parking bans.

To find more information regarding snow-route parking bans, visit

How to sign up for snow-route parking ban notifications

Drivers may want to sign up to receive alerts so they know if a snow-route parking ban is put in place.

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The City of Calgary announced in mid-October that its snow-route parking ban notifications would be moved to the existing myID system, which is already used for street sweeping notifications.

If you sign up, you can choose to receive text or email notifications about when a snow-route parking ban will be in effect and when it has been lifted.

Want your weather on the go? Download Global News’ Skytracker weather app for iPhone, iPad and Android.

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