Snowfall, winter storm warnings extend across southern Manitoba

The bone-chilling temperatures Thursday have given way to heavy, blowing snow and multiple weather alerts across southern Manitoba.

Community health services, including home care, could be affected: Winnipeg Regional Health Authority

Pedestrians and drivers brave the snowy conditions during rush hour Friday. (John Einarson/CBC)

Almost all of southern Manitoba is now under a snowfall warning, winter storm warning or weather advisory from Environment Canada.

A strong weather disturbance will bring highly variable weather conditions to the area Friday through Saturday, the weather agency said Friday morning.

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for parts of the region, a winter storm warning for others, and a special weather statement for even more as the shifting system makes it way through the province.

The highest snowfall accumulations are expected to occur in the Red River Valley, southern Interlake and areas eastwards, with 10-20 centimetres falling.

However, some areas could see slightly higher amounts.

The snowfall warning calls for the flakes to continue falling over southern Manitoba throughout Friday afternoon and spread northward.

Things will intensify overnight Friday into Saturday as strong northwest winds develop, reaching gusts up to 60 km/h. The winds combined with the fresh snow will create reduced visibility until conditions improve Saturday afternoon.

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for parts of the region, a winter storm warning for others, and a special weather statement for even more. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

Areas under the snowfall warning include:

  • City of Winnipeg.
  • Bissett - Victoria Beach - Nopiming Provincial Park - Pine Falls.
  • Dugald - Beausejour - Grand Beach.
  • Selkirk - Gimli - Stonewall - Woodlands.
  • Sprague - Northwest Angle Provincial Forest.
  • Whiteshell - Lac du Bonnet - Pinawa.

The stormy weather could affect community health services, including home care, in Winnipeg. In a news release Friday, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said weather-related delays or cancellations are possible for all clients, depending on the severity of the storm and its impact on transportation and access to clients.

The health authority said clients whose visits will be delayed or cancelled will be notified by phone. Clients who want to cancel or postpone their own visits can contact their case co-ordinator or nurse, or the after-hours service line at 204-788-8331.

Winnipeg's skyline was barely visible at times, through the falling snow Friday afternoon. (John Einarson/CBC)

Hazardous conditions

A winter storm warning covers several areas where "hazardous winter conditions are expected," said Environment Canada.

Those communities are expected to see the same 10-20 cm of snow but winds gusting on Friday night and strengthening to 70 km/h on Saturday will likely make travel risky in reduced visibility.

Areas under the storm warning include:

  • Killarney - Pilot Mound - Manitou.
  • Morden - Winkler - Altona - Morris.
  • Portage la Prairie - Headingley - Brunkild.
  • Steinbach - St. Adolphe - Emerson - Vita - Richer.
People make their way home through blowing snow during the Friday afternoon rush hour in downtown Winnipeg. (John Einarson/CBC)

Special weather statement

The special weather statement applies to most of the rest of the province's southern half and up into Ste. Rose, Arborg and Berens River.

The snowfall and strong winds will produce swirling conditions and reduced visibility through Friday. The winds will gradually ease up on Saturday as conditions improve.

These areas are on the fringe of the most intense part of the storm so the snowfall amounts are less predictable.

Environment Canada urges people across the southern half of the province to drive carefully amid the blowing snow.

The blast of snow and wind comes a day after bitterly cold conditions gripped the province.

Temperatures on Friday are expected to be well above the seasonal normals. Daytime highs will reach as warm as –7 C in the Red River Valley and southeastern corner of the province.

Winnipeg is expected to reach –8 C. The normal high for this time of year is –13 C

Colder temperatures return on Saturday with daytime highs in the low minus teens to –20 C range.


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