Friday morning commuters are being urged to exercise caution as a mix of freezing rain and dense fog moves across northern and central Alberta.
There is a freezing rain warning in effect for highways north and west of Edmonton and Environment Canada is advising drivers to slow down and maintain a safe following distance.
The warning covers a large area including Slave Lake, Peace River, Fairview, High Prairie, Manning Hinton, Edson, Fox Creek, Swan Hills, Grande Cache, Grande Prairie, Beaverlodge, Valleyview, Wabasca, Peerless Lake and Cadotte Lake.
Highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery, Environment Canada warned in the advisory.
“Freezing rain has developed along a line extending from Peace River southwards to Hinton and is expected to move towards the east-northeast this morning,” said the alert issued around 5 a.m. Friday.
“Warnings may need to be expanded today as the freezing rain transitions eastwards.”
In a news release issued around 8 a.m., Grande Prairie RCMP asked drivers to avoid unnecessary travel
RCMP said both the east and westbound lanes of Highway 43 near Smoky Hill were clogged with vehicles Friday as icy conditions worsened.
“Numerous tractor trailer units have been unable to make it up the Smoky Hill due to icy roads,” RCMP said.
“The roadways in and around Grande Prairie are currently very icy. RCMP asked motorists to slow down, and avoid travel unless necessary.”
A fog advisory was issued for the Edmonton area, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Redwater, Smoky Lake, Hanna, Coronation, Oyen, Leduc, Camrose, Wetaskiwin, Tofield, Lloydminster, Wainwright, Vermilion, Provost, Spruce Grove, Morinville, Mayerthorpe and Evansburg.
Dense fog has been noted on several highway cameras around central and eastern Alberta, the advisory issued by Environment Canada at 4:35 a.m. Friday states.
Drivers should be aware that visibility may be suddenly reduced to near zero, the advisory states.
The fog is expected to gradually dissipate later Friday morning.