Southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan are expected to be rocked by a harsh winter weather system this week, but fear not - the blizzard is not expected to reach this far north.
Parts of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and northwest Ontario were under winter storm warnings for this week, issued by Environment Canada. A low coming from the U.S. - in particular, from Colorado and Minnesota - is expected to bring more than two feet of snow in some areas, with others expecting nearly three feet. The storm is expected to make its way about as north as Ashern and Berens River, but to not hit Flin Flon or any other northern communities at full strength.
Snow near the Canada-U.S. border is likely to start in earnest Tuesday, then push northward into Wednesday and Thursday. The snowfall is likely to finish by the weekend, but the cleanup may take days.
“By Friday morning, widespread snowfall accumulations of 30-50 centimetres are expected, with possible accumulations as high as 80 centimetres possible along terrain features such as the western escarpment of the Red River Valley, the Riding Mountains and the Turtle Mountains,” reads a winter storm watch issued for southern Manitoba April 11. An update provided April 12 describes likely conditions to be "hazardous".
“Travel will become increasingly difficult as the day progresses Wednesday, with widespread highway closures a near-certainty. By Wednesday evening, even travel within communities may become impossible as the heavy snow and strong winds continue and more of the same is expected on Thursday.”
The weather is not considered likely to hit Flin Flon, however. The area is expected to get on-and-off flurries early this week, according to Environment Canada forecasts, with snow expected later in the week before sunny conditions through the weekend. Temperatures are likely to hover around the minus-single digits through this week.
Anyone travelling southbound through Manitoba is asked to take precautions and reevaluate their plans - others in areas likely to be hit are encouraged to make emergency plans and kits and to prepare for the worst.
"Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve. Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult. Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. There may be a significant impact on rush hour traffic in urban areas. Heavy snowfall accumulation combined with strong winds may cause damage to trees or other structures. Poor weather conditions may contribute to transportation delays,” reads the April 12 warning.
“Conditions should begin to improve on Friday as the winds taper off and the heaviest snow moves into northern Ontario...although the clean-up after this storm will likely last well into next week.”