Heavy snowfall subsides in parts of Saskatchewan but flights remain affected

Heavy snowfall hit much of Saskatchewan, including Saskatoon and Regina, overnight Saturday and subsided by early afternoon Christmas Day, but seems to still be affecting some travel plans.

Saskatoon had 9 cm of snow, Regina reported over 11 cm

Environment Canada's snowfall warning Saturday called for 10 to 15 centimetres of snow for some areas of Saskatchewan. (CBC)

Heavy snowfall hit much of Saskatchewan, including Saskatoon and Regina, overnight Saturday and subsided by early afternoon Christmas Day, Environment Canada says.

"In Saskatoon, we had a measurement of nine centimetres," Environment Canada meteorologist Shannon Moody said Sunday afternoon.

"This [Christmas] morning, Regina had reported 11 centimetres, but they likely got a couple of centimetres more through the day before the snow ended."

The weather agency had issued a snowfall warning on Saturday afternoon, calling for 10 to 15 centimetres, for several regions, including Regina, Saskatoon, the Battlefords and Meadow Lake.

An Alberta clipper brought snow and strengthening winds to parts of southern Saskatchewan beginning Saturday night, Environment Canada said.

"That did cause some blowing snow issues and some highways around Moose Jaw were closed this morning," Moody said Sunday. "It's still windy in southern Saskatchewan but the system is deparying the area and conditions improving."

Regions between Meadow Lake to the southeast corner of the province were expected to see 10 to 15 centimetres by the end of the day Sunday. 

On Saturday, several regions were under a special weather statement from Environment Canada that warned of mixed precipitation and strong winds from the Alberta clipper. While many of those warnings were ended for most regions by Sunday morning, the weather agency ended its last blowing snow advisory for Assiniboia, Gravelbourg and Coronach by late afternoon.

Moody said those warnings should subside by early Sunday evening, and noted that as the Alberta clipper system clears out, colder air would be moving in.

"We're not looking at extreme cold advisories but Boxing Day could be chillier for many regions with temperatures around –25 and –27" Celsius.

Two women stand, wearing sundresses, in front a pool. There are palm trees in the background.
Lidia Matei's mother, right, with a friend who helped her during her travel. Matei was supposed to travel for a special holiday reunion with her mother, who is fighting cancer. (Submitted by Lidia Matei)

But snow will linger in the coming week.

"There would be a system moving through Tuesday evening bringing snow to central parts of Saskatchewan. On Wednesday, another system will bring snow to southern parts," Moody said.

"We'll be seeing some flurries and active weather, but the plus side with those systems, they'll bring in some warmer air."

The ongoing winter storms across Canada have been hammering air travel in Saskatchewan.

Travel inches to normalcy 

On Friday, Lidia Matei was among the many travellers grounded in Saskatoon, while her 72-year-old mother — who is suffering from Stage 4 metastatic cancer — waited for her in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. 

Matei was supposed to arrive there last Tuesday, as a special holiday reunion for her, her mom and her 17-year-old daughter.

The weather delays have been "extremely emotional. It's extremely hurtful and painful," she said. 

The trip "was not just to have fun. We never know … if it ever can happen again, because my mom has chemotherapy every three weeks, and she is suffering," said Matei.

"It's heartbreaking."

Passengers shouldcheck with their airlines for up-to-date flight times. It's been a dynamic time this week.- Regina Airport Authority spokesperson

A spokesperson for the Saskatoon Airport Authority said flight problems in other cities — including Toronto and Vancouver, both hit hard by storms this week — have caused flight delays and cancellations in Saskatoon.

"The airport is operating normally this [Christmas] morning with the primary runway cleared for landing and takeoff. Operations continue to recover from this weeks weather events across the country with only two reported cancellations today," the spokesperson said.

On Saturday, the Saskatoon airport saw five cancellations "compared to 40 per cent of flights seeing cancellations or delays earlier in the week."

On Sunday morning, the situation was similar at Regina's airport with five cancellations, compared to six cancellations and five flights delayed on Saturday. 

"It also appears that the majority of flights, about 11, have had a delay or are projected to be delayed," a spokesperson for the Regina Airport Authority said.

"Passengers should check with their airlines for up-to-date flight times. It's been a dynamic time this week."

The City of Saskatoon crew responded to the snowfall and focused on grading driving lanes along Circle Drive and the busiest freeway and arterial streets during the storm. 

"When it stops snowing and Priority 1 streets have all been graded, crews will move into the Priority 2 and 3 streets," the city said in a news release. 

"Sanders will be spreading de-icing materials on Circle Drive, freeways, high traffic streets, bridge decks and intersections."

The City of Regina had also declared snow routes in effect which would mean no on-street parking along the identified routes for a 24-hour period. 

In a Saturday news release, the city said parking won't be allowed along designated snow routes from 6 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 26 until 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 27. You can check the city's website here for a snow route map.


Pratyush Dayal covers climate change, immigration and race and gender issues among general news for CBC News in Saskatchewan. He has previously written for the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, and the Tyee. He holds a master's degree in journalism from UBC and can be reached at

With files from CBC News


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