WINNIPEG – A snowfall warning for southern Manitoba now includes Winnipeg, Brandon and Portage la Prairie.
While the south is under a snowfall warning, most of the north is under an extreme cold warning.
Total snowfall is expected to reach 20 centimetres or more along the U.S. border and 10 to 15 centimetres in areas along the Trans-Canada Highway.
“A storm system over southern Saskatchewan today will track into North Dakota tonight bringing a wide swath of snow across southern Manitoba over the next 24 hours,” the alert from Environment Canada warned. “Snow will intensify this evening and tonight with snowfall rates of one to two centimetres per hour at times.”
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Increasing northerly winds behind the system will cause poor visibility in blowing snow overnight and on Saturday morning, the weather agency warned.
“Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult,” the alert said.
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Heavier snowfall expected to start around midday in western Manitoba and then make its way eastward, reaching the Red River Valley by late afternoon.
The system should move out of the area overnight, with cold air rushing in behind it, bringing wind chill values that could approach -40 by Saturday morning. Temperatures are forecast to stay well below normal for the rest of the weekend, consistently dropping below -30 C, making extreme cold warnings likely to be issued for the south over the weekend.
The City of Winnipeg issued a news release Friday morning stating crews are preparing for a major snowfall and sanding trucks are currently operating.
Winnipeg, Brandon, Carberry, Treherne, Portage la Prairie, Headingley, Brunkild, Carman, Minnedosa, Neepawa, Russell and Riding Mountain National Park were added to the snowfall warning area at 11 a.m. Morden, Winkler, Altona, Emerson, Morris, Steinbach, St. Adolphe, Dominion City, Vita, Richer, Virden, Souris, Melita, Boissevain, Turtle Mountain Provincial Park, Killarney, Pilot Mound, Manitou, Sprague and Northwest Angle Provincial Forest were already under the snowfall warning.
Meanwhile, the north will be dealing with extreme cold. Thompson, Nelson House, Split Lake, Brochet, Gillam, Island Lake, Oxford House, Gods Lake, Lynn Lake, Leaf Rapids, Pukatawagan, Norway House, Cross Lake, Wabowden, Shamattawa and Tadoule Lake are all under an extreme cold warning as arctic air and northwest winds of 15 to 20 kilometres per hour will combine to produce wind chills of -45 to -48 Friday night.
The wind chill is forecast to lessen slightly Saturday morning but stay in the -38 to -40 range.
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