Snowstorm descends on Manitoba: here's the picture across the province

After a brief taste of spring, Manitobans woke up Wednesday morning to a blanket of fresh snow, strong winds and near-whiteout conditions — and it's going to continue over the next couple of days.

Snowy, windy conditions expected to continue until Friday

Walking was probably the safest way to get around Winnipeg on Wednesday morning. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

After a brief taste of spring, Manitobans woke up Wednesday morning to a blanket of fresh snow, strong winds and near-whiteout conditions — and it's going to continue over the next couple of days.

The blizzard that forecasters have been warning about crossed the Canada-U.S. border Tuesday night into southern Manitoba in the early morning hours of Wednesday.

As of mid-afternoon, Winnipeg had seen approximately 16 centimetres of snow, while other parts of the province saw as much as 30 centimetres.

Waves of sometimes heavy precipitation will continue to hammer the province, along with northeast winds gusting as high as 70 km/h at times. More snow is also on the way until overnight on Thursday.

Resilient Manitobans are out and about making the best of an unwelcome storm, whether they're heading to work, walking their dogs or shovelling their walkways.

The weather doesn't matter: When a dog's got to go, a dog's got to go! (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Schools across the province are closed to keep people off of treacherous roads amid whiteout conditions.

In Winnipeg, playgrounds stood empty after the heads of the divisions said schools and administration offices across the city will be closed Wednesday and Thursday, and that staff are encouraged to stay home. 

It's the first time in 25 years weather has forced the shutdown of all metro-Winnipeg schools.

The Laura Secord School yard stands empty on Wednesday as students and staff stayed home to weather the storm. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Siblings Samuel and Erin Pyles-Mindell and their friends Pete and Charley Buchanan weren't happy about it.

None wanted to stay home from school or daycare, but worked on building a massive snowman to make up for it.

"It's annoying but it's good,"  Charley, 9, said while working on a big snowball for the base of the snowman.

Samuel and Erin Pyles-Mindell, and Pete and Charley Buchanan play in the snow in Winnipeg on Wednesday. (CBC)

Elsewhere in southern Manitoba, Brandon is experiencing poor visibility due to the snow.

"I thought winter was over," said Gordon Wallman, who works at Heritage Co-Op where he delivers groceries to seniors.

"I knew it was coming and I thought, oh, I hope we don't get 30, 40, 50 centimetres they're forecasting, because we wouldn't be able to drive around."

Visibility is very poor in Brandon on Wednesday, the first day of a monster snowstorm in the province. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

The fresh blast of snow was no problem for Louise Fontaine .

"I love this weather, so actually this is sort of relaxing and calming for me," the Winnipeg woman said. "You can't change it, so I think you just have to embrace it."

Fontaine admits shovelling might become tiring over the next couple of days, though, as more and more snow is forecast to fall.

Manitoba storm April 13, 2022 (Trevor Brine/CBC)

Some animals expressed a little frustration over the snow, including Parmesan the dog.

But other Manitobans are making the best of it.

Drew Wolitarsky, a receiver for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, took the opportunity to try his hand at a different sport.

While some Manitobans are hunkering down and staying inside, snow removal crews across the province are hard at work to ensure streets are safe.

A snowplow clears Portage Avenue on Wednesday morning. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)


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