WINNIPEG — Get your shovels and snowblowers ready because southern Manitoba is being smacked with its first taste of winter this season.
The storm is expected to bring significant snowfall and blowing snow. According to Environment Canada, the snow, heavy at times is set to continue through Wednesday.
“The wind will be gusting up to 60 and 70 km/hr and the snow will be coming down at temperatures below zero,” said meteorologist Jay Anderson. “It’ll be a little bit fluffy but once we get out of the city I think we’ll have some blizzard like conditions, especially out towards the west where the winds are going to be the strongest.”
Environment Canada is calling for upwards of 25 centimeters in some areas.
The morning commute Tuesday has been a treacherous one inside the city and on the highways.
For a list of school closures and bus cancellations, click here.
For a list of highways that have closed or have poor visibility, click here.
It’s the first major storm to hit southern Manitoba this season and drivers should prepare for near zero visibility Tuesday.
“It wouldn’t surprise me to see the highways closed tomorrow for areas west of Winnipeg and possibly to the east where the snowfall accumulation will be building,” said Anderson.
The City of Winnipeg has already started sanding sidewalks and is preparing for a massive clean up which could include upwards of 400 pieces of clearing equipment hitting the roads in the next few days.
“We’re going to be out on the streets as soon as the snow starts to fly this evening,” said Ken Allen from the city’s Public Works department. “Our first line of defense is with our sanding spreader trucks. We’ll be out there with up to 40 spreader trucks working to improve traction on the roadway and will be doing that on a continuous basis throughout the storm.”
The city could enact a residential plow in the coming days and is encouraging everyone to download the “Know Your Zone” app in preparation.
“So far we’ve had 6,200 downloads,” said Allen. “This is the time when we want people to download it and start to familiarize themselves with it. Find out what snow zone you are in and save it.”
The city budgeted $33 million for snow clearing in 2016 and has already gone through two-thirds of that budget. A full city and residential plow could cost another $6 million.
The snow and wind are set to calm down Wednesday evening, but that’s not all for Winnipeggers. The snow can be expected to be replaced with lows below -20°C and wind chill values in the -30 to -35 range.