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Snowfall at least double normal amount: Meteorologist
Jessica Earle, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Saturday, January 15, 2011 6:14PM MST
According to CTV's weather desk, the city's current snow pack is closing in on a record set in 1974.
The distinction comes after more white stuff buried Edmonton Saturday, just days after a storm system dumped an estimated 35 centimetres of snow.
According to official measurements taken at the Edmonton International Airport, there is a precipitation depth of 38 cm. Meteorologist Richard Ozero says that's more than double the amount of snow compared to normal, with the long-range average for mid-January pegged at close to 17 cm.
Ozero points out Edmonton's record for this time of year is 43 cm, which was recorded 37 years ago. He adds that season ended up being an overall record-breaker, with the highest-ever snow pack marked at 81 cm on March 18th.
The volume made several homeowners question where they should shovel their snow Saturday, especially since more precipitation is in the forecast for the coming days.
According to Andree Desrochers, the answer is pushing back banks to make extra room.
"There is a technique to it," she argued. "You have to push the snow away so that the snow bank doesn't get too high."
Staff at the North Side Snow Storage Facilities are also buckling under the volume, with the accumulation from cleared parking lots and streets creating a mountain that's about ten storeys high.
"The one on the west end, we've had to close it for the morning hours for the last few days from eight to 12 just to allow the dozers to catch up with pushing the snow up on the pile," said Bob Dunford, the city's director of road maintenance.
Contractors bringing in extra loads admit finding space is a challenge.
"It's pretty big," said Manjinder Khasara. "It's a big mountain - all the dumpster pretty busy, it's hard to dump all of it."
The city assures ongoing snowfall will not halt neighbourhood clearing plans, though it may manage to stall efforts.
"The temperature can slow trucks down at this temperature," admitted Dunford. "The hydraulics on the trucks, you can't push as hard as well it's quite a moving target to how much we will get done this weekend."
With Files from Kevin Armstrong
snow, storm, winter, shovelling