Saskatchewan·Updated

Wind, snow and freezing rain: Extreme weather continues as driving conditions worsen

Most of Saskatchewan is under wind, freezing rain or winter storm warnings as the province braces for moving weather systems over the course of the day.

Drivers advised to take extreme caution on the roads, or stay home if possible

With most of the province under some form of weather warning, Environment Canada and local police services are advising drivers to avoid non-essential travel and prepare for rapidly-deteriorating road conditions (Warman Fire Rescue)

Most of Saskatchewan is under wind, freezing rain or winter storm warnings as the province faces moving weather systems over the course of the day.

In Saskatoon, the police had already responded to multiple crashes caused by the freezing rain Wednesday morning. While none are believed to have resulted in serious injuries, police are reminding drivers that "speed limits are set based on ideal road conditions." Drivers are advised to slow down and leave extra space between vehicles on the roads today.

Drivers throughout the province will be facing similar concerns.

"A band of freezing rain is forecast to move across Saskatchewan from the Battlefords to south of Hudson Bay this afternoon," Environment Canada said Wednesday morning.

Environment Canada is advising that road surfaces may become icy and slippery, and recommends driving with extreme caution if you must travel by car today.

Meanwhile, many wind warnings have also been issued.

"A strong low pressure system will track across Saskatchewan today," Environment Canada said in a news release. "Over southwestern sections, severe winds will develop toward noon and expand eastward throughout the day. 

"In addition, mild temperatures and scattered rain showers through the day will give way to flurries and possibly snow squalls tonight. With the ongoing high winds, periods of sudden, very poor visibilities in snow and blowing snow may occur."

According to Environment Canada, these wind gusts may reach up to 110 kilometres per hour this afternoon and tonight before subsiding below warning criteria by Thursday morning.

These winds could cause damage to buildings and loose objects. Drivers on the road in at-risk areas also risk losing control of their vehicles. 

And a number of communities are also facing winter storm warnings.

In these regions, Environment Canada is advising residents to expect periods of freezing rain, heavy snow and blowing snow throughout the day.

"Precipitation will begin as freezing rain Wednesday morning over the northern grainbelt before switching to heavy snow in the afternoon," Environment Canada said. "Strong northwesterly winds will develop with the snow leading to visibility reductions in blowing snow at times."

Snowfall could reach 10 to 15 centimetres before tapering off Wednesday night.

Environment Canada is advising those affected warnings to postpone non-essential travel until conditions improve, as conditions are likely to change and deteriorate quickly.

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