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Saskatchewan pounded by late-season winter storm

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan pounded by late-season winter storm' Saskatchewan pounded by late-season winter storm
WATCH: Environment Canada says the cause for the warnings is a strong low-pressure system and cold front tracking eastwards across the Prairies – Mar 29, 2021

UPDATE: All warnings mentioned in this story have ended.

A late blast of winter is moving across Saskatchewan on Monday, with winter storm, snowfall or wind warnings blanketing the province.

Multiple highways in western Saskatchewan have been closed due to deteriorating road conditions.

Highway 7 from Delisle to the Alberta boundary and Highway 1 from Moose Jaw to the Alberta border have been closed.

The Highway Hotline is also reporting all highways in and around Biggar, Kindersley, the Battlefords, Rosetown, Swift Current and Unity are closed.

Highways in other communities are closed and travel is not recommended on many other highways in western Saskatchewan.

The southbound lanes of Highway 11 just north of Hague were blocked after RCMP said a semi jackknifed. As of 5:34 p.m., police said the highway was clear of obstruction.

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Police said drivers should avoid the area as visibility is very low. There is no estimate as to when the highway will be cleared.

Read more: Saskatoon braces for winter storm

Travel is currently not recommended on many other highways in western Saskatchewan.

The latest road conditions can be found on Saskatchewan’s Highway Hotline.

Jenny Hagan said the storm moved into the Kindersley area at around 4:45 a.m.

“We saw a little bit of freezing rain (and) ice pellets. At 5 a.m., the snow started to kick in,” said Hagan, who has been a severe weather chaser for over 10 years.

“About 5:30, visibility started to get really bad. And now it is whiteout conditions, zero visibility in the area.”

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SaskPower is reporting multiple power outages in several regions due to the storm.

“It’s largely just the wind that’s causing all of the issues, but the snow certainly not helping,” said SaskPower spokesperson Scott McGregor.

“The conductor line starts to sway back and forth and either come into contact with itself or potentially bring the structure that is on down. You have structures coming down. You also have debris getting blown up and coming into contact with lines.”

McGregor said it might be a while before power is restored.

“Because of the deteriorating weather patterns in the western part of the province, a lot of crews can’t actually leave because a lot of highways are closed, a lot of the conditions just aren’t conducive to do repair safely.

“There are a number of crews that are sitting on standby until the conditions improve.”

McGregor did say that crews are working on outages in communities where they are based.

Hagan said this is the third major storm to hit the area this winter season.

“We saw the record-breaking snowfall there in November. We had a great blizzard here in January, and this would be about the same kind of blizzard again now,” she said.

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Environment Canada says the cause for the most recent warnings is a strong low-pressure system and cold front tracking eastwards across the Prairies.

Environment Canada says the cause for the warnings is a strong low-pressure system and cold front tracking eastwards across the Prairies. SkyTracker Weather

Winter storm warning

Saskatoon and many northern, central and southwest regions are under a winter storm warning.

Environment Canada says mild rain showers early Monday will quickly give way to severe winds, heavy snow and blowing snow during the morning.

Severe northwesterly winds gusting to 100 km/h will develop by midday and persist for the day.

The worst of the conditions will persist into the evening before subsiding through the night, Environment Canada said.

Snowfall totals of between 10 to 15 centimetres are expected in the warned areas.

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Snowfall warning

Some northern regions of Saskatchewan are under a snowfall warning.

Upwards of additional 10 cm of snow is expected in some regions before the snowfall eases Monday night.

Wind warning

A wind warning and blowing snow advisory has been issued in some southern regions, including Regina.

Severe winds up gusting up to 100 km/h are expected, warned Environment Canada.

The onset of strong winds will also see temperatures fall quickly, and scattered rain showers will give way to snow and pockets of localized heavier snow flurries which will continue into the night, meteorologists said.

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Read more: Wind gusts continue in Calgary despite warning being dropped

Travel conditions

Environment Canada said people should consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve as visibility will be suddenly reduced to near zero at times in the heavy and blowing snow.

Download the SkyTracker weather app for the latest conditions and warnings.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan blasted by winter storm: March 29 Saskatchewan weather outlook' Saskatchewan blasted by winter storm: March 29 Saskatchewan weather outlook
Saskatchewan blasted by winter storm: March 29 Saskatchewan weather outlook – Mar 29, 2021

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