Environment Canada (EC) has issued a snowfall warning for parts of southeastern Manitoba, with 10 to 20 cm of snow expected. They've also issued a special weather statement for other parts of Manitoba, including the City of Winnipeg.
EC says a prolonged period of snowfall is expected to begin Wednesday evening. It will last into Thursday afternoon.
Some areas may experience strong northerly winds on Thursday morning. These strong winds may combine with bands of heavy snow to produce extremely poor visibilities in snow and blowing snow.
This snow will be produced by a major winter storm system tracking through the United States towards Ontario. This system has numerous severe weather warnings associated with it throughout the United States and special weather statements have been issued through northwestern Ontario in advance of its arrival.
Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow. If visibility is reduced while driving, slow down, watch for taillights ahead and be prepared to stop.
Areas under snowfall warning:
- Sprague - Northwest Angle Provincial Forest
- Steinbach - St. Adolphe - Emerson - Vita - Richer
- Whiteshell - Lac du Bonnet - Pinawa
Special weather statement
A major winter storm moving through the central United States towards Ontario will bring snow and strong winds to southern Manitoba Wednesday evening through Thursday.
Heavy snowfall warnings have been issued for southeastern Manitoba with 10 to 20 cm of snow on the way by the time it tapers off on Thursday afternoon. This snowfall event will be similar to the snow that a Colorado Low brought to the region last Saturday: it will taper off from heavy snow to nearly no snowfall over a very short distance. Unfortunately, there is still some uncertainty exactly how far northwest the heavy snow will push, and a shift of tens of kilometres could mean the difference between 2 cm of snow versus 10 cm of snow for some areas.
Currently, the "cutoff line" where the snow will diminish looks to run roughly from Bissett southwestwards through Winnipeg and towards the Turtle Mountains. Along this line, a total of two to five cm is forecast, with amounts rapidly diminishing to nothing to the northwest and rapidly increasing towards 10+ cm to the southeast. Snowfall forecasts may be updated later today as the system takes shape over the American Plains.
Strong northerly winds will develop through the Red River Valley overnight, strengthening to 40 gusting 60 km/h by Thursday morning. Sustained winds of 40 to 50 km/h with gusts up to 70 km/h are possible on Thursday. The limited new snow, mild temperatures, and icing of snowpack surface due to the strengthening sun and recent warm temperatures should limit blowing snow threats to only the regions that see moderate to heavy snowfall.
Areas under special weather statement:
- Bissett - Victoria Beach - Nopiming Prov. Park - Pine Falls
- City of Winnipeg
- Dugald - Beausejour - Grand Beach
- Morden - Winkler - Altona - Morris
- Portage la Prairie - Headingley - Brunkild - Carman
- Selkirk - Gimli - Stonewall - Woodlands
Be cautious with travel
Brad Vrolijk from Environment Canada pointed out that this is a large system which Manitoba will only get "grazed by."
However, south and east of Manitoba will experience intense winter weather.
The storm stretches from Texas to Pembina, ND, and snowfall amounts of 30 cm or more are expected, combined with wind up to 100 km/h.
Vrolijk highly recommends checking local forecasts before travelling.