With rain and above freezing temperatures nearly getting rid of the snow as fast as it fell from the sky, City of Grande Prairie snow and ice control crews continue to try to stay ahead of rapidly changing weather patterns.

Transportation Manager Robert Carroll says with more snow, wind and cold temperatures expected throughout the week, crews are doing their best to get the first round of snow removal before having to start up again.

“It’s the weather we’ve almost become accustomed to when we get these swings above zero and below zero, and as far as road conditions go, they’re probably the most difficult to handle,” he says.

“It’s certainly challenging, but we do our best with the situation, all of our equipment is out, and we’re trying to get ahead of it.”

Carroll says to try and stop the roads from becoming a skating rink, the city uses approximately 10,000 tonnes of sand and around 2,000 tonnes of salt across the municipality. He adds they’re also experimenting what he calls pre-wetting in order to get the roads in a more desirable state faster, but he continues to urge drivers to show patience on the road, as it still takes plenty of time to make a difference.

“[It] is application of a salt brine or a calcium chloride to the sand and salt as it’s going down, the theory being it pre-wets the product before it hits the ground, and if the temperatures are right, it’ll allow the product to stick to the ground instead of bounce off,” he says.

“When you get these temperature swings, nothing is 100 per cent effective, and really it just takes time for equipment to get out and get around… certainly it’s not done in minutes, it takes hours to do it.”

According to Environment Canada, the high temperature in Grande Prairie this week is expected to be 4 degrees celsius, with a forecast low of -13, both expected on Tuesday.