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Summertime, and the weather is freezing.

About five centimetres of snow fell yesterday on communities along the foothills of the Alberta Rockies as people flocked to national and provincial parks for the August long weekend.

"We've got people walking around in toques and scarves and have had a few shocked international visitors," said Marjorie Huculak, park manager for Banff National Park.

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"It's pretty unusual to go from above-average temperatures to this."

Motorists were being advised not to travel west of Calgary on the Trans Canada Highway.

Yesterday's flurries set a record in Calgary for the earliest August snowfall, with the previous record set in 1946. On Aug. 15 of that year, 0.3 centimetres of snow fell on the city.

While unpleasant, Calgary's low of 2 yesterday was still no match for other parts of the Prairies.

In Saskatchewan, Environment Canada reported 13 record lows, with the lowest being -2.8 in Spiritwood, 150 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

At Camp Chief Hector, about a half hour's drive west of Calgary, campers bundled up in sweaters and crowded around an indoor fireplace for an evening of games as the snow turned to rain.

"We'll drink plenty of hot chocolate and then head to bed," said Jill Jamieson, camp director.

She was not bothered by the weather.

"There is no bad weather. Just weather. You just have to be prepared and make sure you're always looking to the skies," she said.

Environment Canada was forecasting temperatures in the area to rebound to 15 today, a far cry from the sweltering heat that baked much of the province in July.

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