'Get your shovelling practice in': Southern Manitoba snow dump could be here to stay

Winnipeggers awoke Wednesday morning to snow blanketing rooftops and roads, and unseasonably cold weather means it might not be going away before spring.

Unseasonably cold temperatures mean October melt might not be forthcoming, Environment Canada says

Snow sticks to branches of a bush outside the Manitoba Legislature on Wednesday. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

Winnipeggers awoke Wednesday morning to snow blanketing rooftops and roads, and unseasonably cold weather means the white stuff might not be going away before spring.

"Unfortunately, with five or six centimetres and with our below-normal temperatures looking like it's going to continue at least until Halloween, it's probably a pretty good bet that the snow is going to stick around here," said Chris Stammers, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

"Get your shovelling practice in."

Many Winnipeg roads and Manitoba highways were covered in ice and snow ahead of rush hour, the provincial highway conditions map said.

A crash closed Highway 1 at the Portage la Prairie bypass, between Highway 240 and Angle Road, but it reopened around 9:30 a.m. A semi-trailer truck was seen being pulled from a ditch in the area.

There were five to eight centimetres of snow in Winnipeg, and six to eight centimetres from the Dauphin area south to the U.S.-Canada border.

Crews work to get a semi-trailer truck out of a ditch next to the Trans-Canada Highway east of Portage la Prairie Wednesday morning. (John Einarson/CBC)

It's normal to get snow in October, but it often melts away. Stammers recalled that when Winnipeg got walloped with over 30 centimetres during a Thanksgiving weekend snowstorm last year, it disappeared before winter later set in.

With temperatures around 10 C below normal for this time of year, he isn't confident Winnipeg will be snow-free again in 2020.

Snow covers a park bench at the Manitoba Legislature grounds on Wednesday. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

"When the temperatures are that far below normal at this time of year, any snowfall is probably going to stick," he said. "That part of it is unprecedented, but the fact that we're getting snow in October is not really."

There is a chance of more snow on Thursday, Stammers said.

With cold weather in the forecast, Winnipeg's wintery look could stick around until spring. (John Einarson/CBC)

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With files from Meaghan Ketcheson