A winter storm warning is in effect ahead of a weather system that is expected to bring heavy snow to parts of western Manitoba through Sunday, according to Environment Canada.
The Colorado Low moving through the Dakotas in the United States will spread a band of mixed precipitation across affected areas Saturday morning.
While it could start with rain, wet snow or even freezing rain, that downpour will turn to heavy snow later on Saturday, the weather agency said in an alert.
The heavy snow will continue overnight and ease throughout the day on Sunday as northerly winds gust to 80 kph.
Total snowfall amounts will generally be between 20 and 40 centimeters, although on higher ground snowfall can exceed 50 centimeters.
The areas concerned are:
- Mount Minnedosa-Riding National Park.
- Ste. Rose-McCreary-Alonso-Gladstone.
The weather alert urged people in those areas to consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve and to prepare for rapidly changing and deteriorating travel conditions.
More details on weather alerts in Manitoba are available on the Environment Canada website.
The weather agency issues winter storm warnings – which are not necessarily limited to the winter season – when severe and potentially dangerous conditions are expected, such as a heavy snowfall (25 centimeters or more in a 24-hour period) .
Snowfall warning in other regions
A snowfall warning is also in place for part of northern Manitoba, where between 20 and 25 centimeters are expected to fall.
Later Saturday morning, Environment Canada said evening rain in the Island Lake-Oxford House-Gods Lake area is expected to turn to snow overnight in Island Lake.
This snow will be heaviest overnight Saturday and Sunday morning, with persistent light snow ending Monday morning.
Northerly winds will gust up to 60 km/h on Sunday and could bring periods of reduced visibility in snow and blowing snow, the weather agency said.
People in these areas need to be prepared for power outages, as well as rapidly changing and deteriorating travel conditions, warns Environment Canada. Visibility in the area can sometimes be suddenly reduced in heavy snow.
Snow is also expected to fall in several other areas of southern Manitoba, but not as much.
A snowfall warning indicates that these regions should receive between 10 and 20 centimeters, when the rain turns to snow Saturday evening.
The areas concerned are:
- Arborg-Hecla-Fisher River-Gypsumville-Ashern.
- Berens River-Little Grand Rapids-Bloodvein-Atikaki.
- Poplar River.
- Grand Rapids-Waterhen.
Snow in those areas will be heaviest overnight Saturday through Sunday morning, with persistent light snow ending Monday morning, Environment Canada said in its weather alert.
The alert also urged people in these areas to prepare for rapidly changing and deteriorating travel conditions.