Winter muscles its way into southern Manitoba, brings storm warning

Winter is making a grand entrance in southern Manitoba.

Blizzard-like conditions possible on Wednesday as storm blows through southern Manitoba

Winnipeggers woke up to a thick layer of new snow on Monday, but much more is in the forecast for Tuesday. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

Winter is making a grand entrance in southern Manitoba.

Many in the region woke up Monday — the official start of the season — to a thick layer of snow. And there's much more to come, according to Environment Canada, which issued a winter storm watch for most of the province's south that was later upgraded to a winter storm warning.

"It's a little bit of surprise there but I think people were looking forward to getting some snow for Christmas. So that's the positive side of that," said Environment Canada meteorologist Terri Lang.

The snow, which began falling Sunday afternoon, picked up in intensity as it moved across the province from the west.

Brandon recorded about four centimetres, while about six centimetres fell in Portage la Prairie. Winnipeg took the brunt of it, with 12-15 cm, Lang said.

A few more flakes could fall Monday but the snow should be done by noon, she said.

But that was only the appetizer.

Winnipeg received the lion's share of Sunday's snow with 12-15 centimetres around the city. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

A strong low-pressure system is expected to track along the international border on Tuesday, bringing 15-25 centimetres of blowing snow to southern Manitoba.

Hazardous winter conditions are expected at times, according to Environment Canada, and CBC's meteorologist says it could make travel treacherous in the coming days — and might mean some heavy work to move all the snow.

"Might be more of a snowblower event, rather than a quick shovel out the driveway," John Sauder said Monday morning.

"With the wind … the visibility and the driving conditions themselves will be an issue."

It is all expected to begin in the southwest Tuesday morning and spread quickly eastward throughout the day and into Tuesday night. Northerly winds gusting between 60-70 km/h will develop through the day, causing visibility problems, Environment Canada's alert says.

"So by the time we get into Wednesday morning, we're on the backside of this low, and the winds have really started to pick up and blow things around," said Sauder. "I think Wednesday morning is not a great morning to be on highways at all."

The areas in red are under the winter storm warning issued by Environment Canada. (Environment Canada)

Environment Canada recommends avoiding travel if possible as rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult in some locations.

The snow and winds are expected to ease Wednesday morning as the system continues into Ontario.

And after all that snow, the next thing expected to fall is the temperature.

A mild high of around –4 C in Winnipeg on Tuesday will turn into a much chillier high of around –17 C on Wednesday and –19 C on Thursday. The low on Wednesday night is forecast to be –26 C.

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