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Blizzard, winter storm warnings as Alberta Clipper bears down on southern Manitoba

Click to play video 'Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler on Manitoba highway conditions' Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler on Manitoba highway conditions
Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler talks to Global News Morning about the conditions of Manitoba highways Tuesday – Dec 22, 2020

Mother Nature has decided that southern Manitoba will see a white Christmas after all with snow through the day Tuesday.

Depending on where you are, southern Manitoba is under either a winter storm or blizzard warning.

The exception is for Winnipeg and the southwest corner of Manitoba, which is under a blowing snow advisory.

Morden, Winkler, Altona, Morris, Steinbach, St. Adolphe, Emerson, Vita and Richer are all under blizzard warnings, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.

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“Blizzard conditions expected to develop tonight improving late Wednesday afternoon,” they said.

“A strong low pressure system will track along the International border today bringing heavy snow, strong winds, and blowing snow to southern Manitoba. The heaviest snowfall amounts are expected to fall north of the Trans-Canada and Yellowhead Highways and south of a east to west line through Swan River.

“A swath of 15 to 25 cm is likely by Wednesday morning in this areas. South of the Trans-Canada Highway to the International border amounts will be less ranging from 5 to 10 cm.”

The winds will also gust up to 80 kph and temperatures will drop, said ECCC.

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Winnipeg already saw 10-15 cm of snow overnight Sunday into Monday.

Senior Climatologist with ECCC, David Phillips, said the snow Monday was just the opening act.

“Last night was sort of the dress rehearsal,” said Phillips. “Lots of moisture feeding the system that developed on the upper side of the Rockies.”

Read more: Winnipeg’s summer a ‘perfect 10’ this year, says Environment Canada climatologist

The system, an Alberta Clipper, is moving pretty quickly, he said, but it will slow over Manitoba.

Wednesday will be “kind of a clearing kind of day,” he added.

For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, southern Manitoba will see seasonal highs of about -13C, said Phillips.

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Travel on the highways is not recommended, said Infrastructure minister Ron Schuler.

“First we do all the major routes, and then we go to the secondary routes,” said Schuler. “Keep in mind, we have 19,000 km of highways that we try to keep clean.”

About 300 pieces of equipment are out on Manitoba’s highways, said Schuler.

“You’ve got to have some patience, they are doing a great job for us, so show some respect,” he added.

Michael Cantor, manager of streets and maintenance for the city of Winnipeg, said plows are out on city streets.

“Our crews have been out since 11 p.m. last night,” Cantor told 680 CJOB Monday morning.

“The plan is to make sure our major routes and the sidewalks all along the major routes are passable and continue plowing Tuesday,” he said.

When the city is hit with two back-to-back significant snowfalls, it’s “always challenging,” said Cantor.

“We ask that Winnipeggers for their patience until we finish plowing all of the streets and sidewalks.”

As for how soon plows will go down residential streets, it all depends on how much snow we get Tuesday, said Cantor.

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