Winter storm prompts weather alerts in Saskatchewan

Blowing snow advisories are in effect for most of southern Saskatchewan, including Regina, after winds gusting from 50 to 70 km/hour met fresh falling snow overnight.

Poor conditions expected to persist into Monday night

The view Monday morning from a highway webcam near Alsask, Sask. (Highway Hotline)

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has issued severe weather alerts in Saskatchewan after a winter storm began pounding much of southern and central Saskatchewan Sunday night.

Blowing snow advisories are in effect for most of southern Saskatchewan, including Regina, after winds gusting from 50 to 70 km/h met fresh falling snow.

Saskatoon and much of central Saskatchewan were placed under snowfall and winter storm warnings Monday, and told to expect 15 to 20 centimetres of snow in the next 24 hours.

Conditions are expected to start to taper off Monday evening as a low pressure system continues to track eastward out of the province.

The grey areas on the map are where blowing snow advisories were put in place Monday morning, while the areas in red received snowfall and winter storm warnings. (Environment and Climate Change Canada)

Kyle Ziolkowksi, an operational meteorologist with ECCC, said there will be reduced visibility across the affected regions for most of the day.

"It's recommended that you postpone non-essential travel until conditions improve," Ziolkowski said. "Be aware of the highway conditions."

David Horth, communications director for Saskatchewan's Ministry of Highways, said it's important to check the conditions prior if you do decide to drive.

"If anyone is thinking of travelling, I strongly suggest you check the Highway Hotline before you go," Horth said. "Check the weather from the start of your destination to the end so you know what you might be getting in to." 

Parts of Highways 324, 376 and 378 northeast of the Battlefords were closed Monday morning. Visibility was reduced on many highways in southwest and central Saskatchewan.

"The system won't fully clear out of Saskatchewan until Tuesday," Ziolkowski said. "That's kind of a long duration snowfall event for the province."

The yellow refers to highways with winter conditions, while the red refers to closed roads. The dotted lines means there's poor visibility. (Highway Hotline)

Ziolkowski said that even once the low pressure system leaves the province, people in Saskatchewan will feel the full effects of winter.

"The system is drawing in a lot of cold arctic air behind it, so temperatures are actually going to start to plummet this week in Saskatchewan below normal temperatures and it looks like that going to last for a while," Ziolkowski said.

"On top of that, there's some other systems that are following later in the week that are going to bring more snow to southern Saskatchewan."

Stay up to date with the storm by checking Environment Canada's public weather alerts for Saskatchewan and by looking at Saskatchewan's Highway Hotline.