Snow shifts course for Westman, but Winnipeg not out of the woods

Winter storm and snowfall warnings remain in effect across southern and central Manitoba Sunday ahead of a Colorado low that could leave up to 50 cm of snow in some localized areas of the province.

City of Winnipeg to deploy up to 200 pieces of equipment to salt, clear streets

Highway travel could be treacherous on Sunday and Monday as a winter storm sets its sights on Manitoba. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

Winter storm and snowfall warnings remain in effect across southern and central Manitoba Sunday ahead of a Colorado low that could leave up to 50 cm of snow in some localized areas of the province. 

CBC Meteorologist John Sauder says 15 to 25 cm of snow could fall in the Winnipeg area and Red River Valley from Sunday night through Monday night, but a slight change in the track of the system could leave Brandon and the Westman region digging out from up to 30 cm. 
"The timing really hasn't changed a lot, but what has changed is the track of the system," Sauder said Sunday morning. "By late tonight, the centre of the low is right in the tri-border area between Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the U.S." 

"Farther west means more snow for areas like Brandon and Dauphin and right up through the Riding Mountain and of course into southeastern Saskatchewan and a little bit less … for the Red River Valley and areas out east of the Red River Valley," Sauder added. 

Some areas will also see winds gusting as high as 60 to 70 km/h, which could create poor visibility on roads and highways when combined with the fresh snow. 

"Highway travel during this time period Sunday night and through the day Monday is really going to be tough," Sauder said. "We're talking some blowing snow, heavy snowfall amounts, heavy snowfall period."

Sauder said the easterly wind could also enhance snowfall in higher terrain, like Riding Mountain, and said localized amounts of 40 or 50 cm possible with the storm. 

Winter storm and snowfall warnings remained in effect Sunday for southern and central Manitoba ahead of the storm. (Environment Canada )
Environment Canada issued a winter storm warning on Saturday, which continued as of 11 a.m CT Sunday for the Brandon, Neepawa, Carberry, Treherne, Dauphin, Russel, Roblin, Winnipegosis, Minnedosa, Riding Mountain National Park, Ste. Rose, McCreary, Alonsa, Gladstone, Swan River, Duck Mountain, Virden and Souris regions.

Everyone else, including Winnipeg, is under a snowfall warning, according to Environment Canada.

Sauder said the stormy weather should start to taper off on Monday evening. 

"It really starts to let up on Monday night," he said. "It's going to clear quite quickly on Monday night and Tuesday." 

City ready for snowfall  

The city of Winnipeg has up to 200 pieces of equipment at the ready for when the snow starts to fly.

"We're ready for whatever mother nature dishes out," said Ken Allen, a spokesperson for the city's public works department. 
The city of Winnipeg plans to deploy up to 200 pieces of equipment to salt and clear streets. (Dave Gaudet/CBC )

"Our first line of defence is going to be our salting operation," Allen said Sunday. "Once the snow begins to accumulate on the roadway, we'll likely be moving into our truck plowing operation very quickly after that."

Allen said the city's snow route parking ban has also been reinstated. The ban, which is normally in effect between December 1 and March 1, prohibits parking on streets designated as snow routes between midnight and 7 a.m. 

He said the ban will be put into effect at midnight and will likely be lifted sometime on Wednesday. 

"Our crews are ready," Allen reiterated. "We have ample material here for our operation tonight and tomorrow and crews and equipment are ready to go."