May snow?: White stuff expected overnight, Edmonton ends fire restrictions

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April showers bring May snow?

With a storm moving through the province Tuesday, wet snow is in the forecast for Edmonton overnight as the temperature is expected to drop to 3 C. A special weather statement issued by Environment Canada Tuesday said cold air moving southward from the Northwest Territories could cause rain to switch over to snow. While the Edmonton area is slated to get wet snow, northeast Alberta could see between five to 10 centimetres of the white, fluffy stuff.

Wet snow in the Edmonton area is expected to taper off Wednesday morning with the temperature rising to 8 C. About 10 to 15 millimetres of rain is in the forecast through Wednesday, prompting the end to Edmonton’s fire restrictions. The city on Tuesday ended the restrictions, in place for about a month, due to the fresh precipitation and cooler weather.

Since April 16, open burning and fireworks were prohibited. That is now permitted again, as long as the appropriate permits are in place. The city stopped short of issuing a fire ban, which could prohibit the use of fire pits and cooking stoves. Backyard fire pits continue to be allowed as long as they meet the city’s bylaw requirements.

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“The decision was based on the Fire Weather Index, which is monitored daily, taking into account weather data such as temperature, humidity, wind speeds and precipitation,” city spokeswoman Brittany Lewchuk said in a Tuesday news release.

Epcor is also reminding Edmontonians to be prepared for unplanned outages as weather conditions change, with the potential for high winds. Northwest winds at 30 km/h could gust to 50 km/h throughout Tuesday and into Wednesday.

There were two power outages on separate sides of the city Monday night, but unrelated to weather conditions, Epcor spokeswoman Laura Ehrkamp said in a statement to Postmedia.

An outage in northeast Edmonton before 10 p.m. was caused by an equipment issue at a substation, affecting about 8,600 customers. Power was restored in about an hour, Ehrkamp said. A smaller outage in Mill Woods was related to scheduled maintenance to ensure ongoing, safe service delivery.

“As Edmonton continues to see changing weather conditions with wind, rain, snow in the forecast, we always encourage customers to ensure they are well prepared for the possibility of an unplanned power outage,” Ehrkamp said.

Residents are encouraged to create a power outage emergency kit, including flashlights, candles, non-perishable food and warm clothes. More details can be found on Epcor’s website.

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