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Grimshaw, Ab. we needed some moisture not sure if we needed it this bad?

Over 20 cm of snow kicks off the long weekend in Alberta

Andrea Bagley
Digital Reporter

Friday, May 20, 2016, 12:04 PM - Call it bad timing? As the May long weekend kicks off across the country, parts of the precipitation starved province of Alberta are seeing a hefty shot of snow.

"Heavy snow mixed with rain will begin to taper off early this afternoon," says Environment Canada in a snowfall warning issued for parts of northwestern Ontario. "A further 5 to 10 cm is possible."

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Drivers are being warned to adjust travel plans based on the changing road conditions as rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations.

"Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow," EC warns.

Up to 25 cm of snow is possible in the hardest hit places through Friday.

Even though desperate for precipitation, residents say they weren't quite prepared for this wintry blast.

"After weeks of warm dry weather, just before the May Long weekend, we get a covering of the white stuff," says Weather Network viewer Chris Rhoads from Grande Prairie, Alberta.

Heavy rain and thunderstorm threat

For areas further south, a slow moving system is bringing widespread beneficial rain and cooler temperatures through the long weekend. A thunderstorm threat also covers the region with the potential for isolated severe storms.

"A storm or two may reach marginal severe criteria," says Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton. "Hail, winds, and heavy rain are possible."

Between 60-80 mm of rain is forecast for major cities like Calgary and Edmonton through Monday, with the risk for locally higher amounts.

Unfortunately, Fort McMurray misses out on this critical rain once again and will see about 10-15 mm with this system. Lighter winds and cooler temperatures over the weekend however, will be an asset.

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