Wind warnings issued for southern Manitoba, with gusts of up to 90 km/h expected

Winnipeg and communities in south-central and southeastern Manitoba are under a wind warning Sunday, as meteorologists predict damaging gusts will form over the Red River Valley.

Open fires, including fire pits and fireworks, not allowed in Winnipeg during high winds, city says

A wind turbine is framed by a sun dog, an atmospheric phenomenon, in this file photo. Environment Canada is predicting strong winds will hit parts of southern Manitoba on Sunday. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Communities in south-central and southeastern Manitoba, including Winnipeg, are under a wind warning on Sunday, as meteorologists predict damaging gusts will form over the Red River Valley.

That's expected to happen sometime Sunday afternoon, Environment Canada said in a warning issued at 4:23 a.m.

Strong northwesterly winds that may cause damage are forecast to gradually subside by Sunday evening, the warning said.

The winds are being caused by a cold front that has come through the area, Environment Canada meteorologist Dan Fulton said.

"Probably a good time to secure things that are outside, lawn chairs and such, that you don't want blowing into your neighbour's yard," Fulton said.

That wind could cause damage to buildings, including roof shingles and windows. High winds may also throw loose objects or break tree branches, the warning said.

"The main issue, I think, is probably tree branches, especially given that the leaves are still on the trees," Fulton said.

The winds are expected to die down after the sun sets on Sunday, he said.

As of Sunday evening, the wind warning includes the City of Winnipeg and the following regions:

  • Dugald-Beausejour-Grand Beach.
  • Morden-Winkler-Altona-Morris.
  • Portage la Prairie-Headingley-Brunkild-Carman.
  • Selkirk-Gimli-Stonewall-Woodlands.
  • Steinbach-St. Adolphe-Emerson-Vita-Richer.

A large swath of the province that includes most of southern Manitoba is also under a special weather statement. That statement details a risk of strong winds Sunday afternoon and possible frost on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

An Alberta clipper — a fast-moving, low-pressure weather system — is passing across the Prairies, bringing showers, strong winds and cool temperatures in that part of Manitoba, the statement said.

While the system is bringing colder-than-average temperatures to the region — including a risk of frost overnight Monday into Tuesday morning — it's a common phenomenon near the end of summer or beginning of fall, Fulton said.

A full list of affected municipalities is available on Environment Canada's website.

The City of Winnipeg also issued a reminder that open-air fires are not allowed with high winds forecast.

That ban applies to fire pits, fireworks and any open fires in private or public spaces, the city said in a news release on Sunday. The ban applies when wind speeds in the city are faster than 25 km/h, whether a permit was obtained or not, the release said.

Power outages

Manitoba Hydro is dealing with numerous power outages as a result of the storm.

At 8 p.m. Sunday, there were 337 outages affecting more than 16,000 customers, according to the outage map.

"We are responding to multiple outages across southern Manitoba as strong winds blow tree branches into our lines," Manitoba Hydro tweeted on Sunday evening.

A number of people tweeted at the Crown Corporation asking for updated times for power restoration, and many of them were told they would be in the dark for at least a couple more hours.

Rising water levels

The province's hydrologic forecast centre also issued a warning Sunday that high winds could result in rising water levels in the south parts of Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba.

The forecast wind, along with wave action, could raise levels by five feet or more, the province said in a news release.

The advisory applies to Lake Manitoba's south basin, the release said. It also applies to shorelines near Gimli on Lake Winnipeg's west side, and those near Victoria Beach on its east side.

People who own properties in the area should take precautions, the release said.

With files from Nelly Gonzalez