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Manitobans warned to prepare for snow, bitter cold after warm Friday

Lorraine Nickel / Global News file photo

WINNIPEG – Enjoy the warmth Friday because it’s not going to last through the weekend as Manitoba takes a weather roller-coaster ride.

The high in southern Manitoba is forecast to hit -2 C to -5 C on Friday, but Environment Canada warns Saturday will come with “bitterly cold temperatures.”

And before the cold sets in, there’s plenty of snow in the forecast with potential localized blizzard conditions, the weather agency says in a special weather statement.

An intensifying Alberta clipper will track southeastward through North Dakota on Saturday bringing with it five to 15 centimetres of snow in southern Manitoba from Dauphin in the west to Pinawa in the province’s southeast.

Strong northerly winds gusting to 60 kilometres per hour are expected to reduce visibility due to blowing snow. The strongest winds will be in the Red River Valley. These strong winds combined with falling snow has prompted Environment Canada to issue a blowing snow warning for Portage la Prairie, Headingley, Brunkild, Carman, Morden, Winkler, Altona, Emerson, Morris, Steinbach, St. Adolphe, Dominion City, Vita and Richer. The worst conditions will be in areas with open, flat terrain. Visibility will be reduced to under 1 km at times on Saturday. Conditions should improve later that afternoon as the snow tapers off and winds gradual diminish.

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These strong winds will usher in bitterly cold Arctic air on Saturday. Wind chill values are expected to drop into the -40 to -45 range.

The statement about the significant weather change was issued for all of southern Manitoba, including the communities of Winnipeg, Brandon, Carberry, Treherne, Virden, Souris, Portage la Prairie, Headingley, Brunkild, Carman, Selkirk, Gimli, Stonewall, Woodlands, Eriksdale, Steinbach, St. Adolphe, Dominion City, Vita, Richer, Dauphin, Roblin, Winnipegosis, Melita, Boissevain, Turtle Mountain Provincial Park, Killarney, Pilot Mound, Manitou, Dugald, Beausejour, Grand Beach, Morden, Winkler, Altona, Emerson, Morris, the Whiteshell, Lac du Bonnet, Pinawa, Sprague, Northwest Angle Provincial Forest, Arborg, Hecla, Fisher River, Gypsumville, Ashern, Minnedosa, Neepawa, Russell, Riding Mountain National Park, Ste. Rose, McCreary, Alonsa, Gladstone, Swan River, Duck Mountain and Porcupine Provincial Forest.

Wind chill warnings issued for northern Manitoba

The ridge of high-pressure Arctic air that’s bringing the cold will move into northern Manitoba a day earlier, prompting wind chill warnings to be issued for Friday night and Saturday for Brochet, Tadoule Lake, Lynn Lake, Leaf Rapids, Pukatawagan, Thompson, Nelson House, Split Lake, Churchill, York, Gillam, and Shamattawa.

In those northern communities, temperatures of -35 C to -40 C and winds of 15 to 30 kilometres per hour will bring wind chills of -50 or lower Friday night and into Saturday, Environment Canada warns.

Those wind chill values can cause frostbite on exposed skin in less than five minutes.

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