Storm bringing wind, rain and blowing snow to southern Manitoba

Driving conditions could get ugly across southern Manitoba in the next few days as a storm brings high winds and rain changing to snow.

Low-pressure system expected to hit Wednesday night and into Thursday

Rain will quickly change to snow, with varying snowfall amounts across southern Manitoba late Wednesday and Thursday. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

The first significant snowfall of the season could create ugly driving conditions across southern Manitoba Wednesday night and Thursday morning, as a storm brings high winds and rain changing to snow.

A low-pressure system is expected to pass through the province from west to east Wednesday night and into Thursday.

Wednesday started out warm, with a high of 9 C in Winnipeg, but temperatures will fall close to zero overnight and stay close to that for most of Thursday. Rain will quickly change to snow, with varying snowfall amounts across the south.

The heaviest snowfall will be in the southeast, with snowfall amounts between 10 and 15 centimetres, CBC meteorologist John Sauder said. In the southwest, five to 10 centimetres are expected, and about two to five centimetres in the Red River Valley.

Within the city of Winnipeg, snowfall amounts likely won't be more than two centimetres, Sauder said.  

"Like a couple of Saturdays ago, when we had that little bit of accumulation in the grassy areas, I think that's certainly possible as well. It's really going to be hard to figure out how much snow will accumulate in the city. I think inside the city what you're going to see is very wet streets and wet driving."

While the snow is falling, winds will pick up with gusts reaching between 80 and 90 km/h. Strong winds will continue into Thursday morning, between 50 and 80 km/h.

That wind, combined with the snowfall, could make driving conditions treacherous in places.

"The other tricky part to figure out is the road conditions. As snow is coming down heavily, it's going to accumulate and the tires of the vehicles are going to sort of polish that up, and we've got the wind involved, so I think some icy highways are in the mix as well," Sauder said.

Where the driving conditions will be poor is hard to predict, and will depend on how much heat there is in the ground and how the wind blows the wet snow across the highways, he said.

The high on Thursday is expected to be 2 C. The snow likely won't stick around, as temperatures rise over the weekend, hitting a high of 7 C on Sunday.

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With files from Cameron MacLean


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