Strong winds, fresh snow and possibility of freezing rain are all on the docket for parts of Saskatchewan on Monday.
According to meteorologists, an Alberta clipper will introduce wind gusts up to 90 km/h on Monday. Conditions will also present poor visibility in snow and blowing snow.
Environment Canada says blizzard warnings are issued when widespread reduced visibilities of 400 metres or less are expected for at least four hours.
“The falling snow and strong winds will combine to create blizzard conditions with near-zero visibilities at times,” said Environment Canada on Monday.
The weather is expected to improve overnight on Monday as wind speeds drop, but experts say that as the system tracks into Manitoba, temperatures will fall to near or below normal values in Saskatchewan by Monday night.
“Travel is expected to be hazardous due to reduced visibility. Visibility will be suddenly reduced to near zero at times in heavy snow and blowing snow,” Environment Canada added. “Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions.”
Blowing snow advisories have also been announced for central and eastern areas of the province, including Saskatoon, Outlook, Humboldt, Yorkton and Melville.
Weather conditions are expected to deteriorate by Monday afternoon as wind speeds pick up and the chances of freezing rain increase.
According to Environment Canada, blowing snow advisories are issued when winds are expected to create blowing snow giving poor visibility to 800 metres or less for at least three hours.
Snowfall warnings are also in place for Prince Albert, Melfort, Meadow Lake, Hudson Bay and the areas surrounding those communities.
Avoid unnecessary travel
Saskatchewan RCMP distributed a statement on Monday afternoon warning motorists of poor road conditions due to inclement weather.
“Officers across the province are reporting that weather is impacting road conditions,” stated Saskatchewan RCMP.
“Roads may be slippery/icy and snow-covered due to weather conditions/gusting winds and visibility may be reduced – especially if someone passes you.”
Highways in the west central and southwest areas of the province have been closed, including the Trans-Canada Highway in the Swift Current area and Highway 7 from the Alberta-Saskatchewan border to west of Saskatoon.
Travel is also not recommended on highways in a number of locations in the western half of the province, including Saskatoon, Swift Current and North Battleford areas.
RCMP are asking drivers to check road conditions before beginning their travels and to stay home if travel is not recommended on their route.
Police add that people who absolutely must travel should ensure they have plenty of gas, a fully-charged cell phone, food, water and extra warm clothing packed.
More information about road conditions can be found at the Highway Hotline.