This winter season is one that just doesn’t seem to want to go away.
Snow, wind and blizzards, and sudden extreme drops in temperature from warmer to cold have been a common theme this winter in Saskatchewan.
With the calendar reading mid-March, there is plenty of snow that needs to melt in order to help it feel more like spring. However, if Mother Nature decides to warm up quickly, there is a chance for a lot of pooling water in and around Saskatoon.
From constant sanding and salting roads to some trouble roads becoming impassable from big drifts, flooding will have to be taken into consideration as the mercury rises, said one Saskatoon city councillor.
“Our primary concern is going to be the spring thaw, with how much snow we have sitting around and making sure we address frozen catch basins, ponding areas and potential flooding,” said Ward 1 Coun. Darren Hill.
“It would be wonderful if we got a slow melt, but Mother Nature doesn’t always grant us such wishes.”
Highways and residential roads have also seen their fair share of wind storms, ice and snow buildup and constant clearing from highway and city crews.
Residential and city roads have been shaved down and cleared throughout the winter as bad ruts from thawing and freezing created nasty driving conditions for motorists in Saskatoon.
Saskatchewan has over 26,000 kilometres of highway, many of which have been closed at certain points due to winter storms and ice buildup as a result of drastic temperature changes.
Saskatchewan Highways and Transportation communications director Doug Wakabayashi said this winter has been different compared with years past, with the constant storms and unpredictable temperature swings keeping road clearing crews busy.
“The one thing we ask people to understand is there really is no way to keep a road in driving condition during a storm. Getting the road back to driving condition depends on when the storm lets up,” Wakabayashi said.
“There really is no point in putting salt de-icing materials down on the road while it’s still storming.”
Wakabayashi says people should always check the highway hotline for updated road conditions in winter, especially during any storms.
Some Saskatoon residents told Global News they are ready for spring after what has been a weird and wacky winter, to say the least.
I like winter, I like to curl, I like to cross country ski, but you just can’t do some of those things when it’s so cold out. It has been cold a lot this winter,” said Mike Leier.
I felt like it didn’t come until December when we got those bone-chilling temperatures but its nice spring is right around the corner. The forecast is looking good,” said Jason Evanchoko.
According to Environment Canada, there is a chance of some light flurries early this week, before the temperature jumps above freezing to as high as 6 C as the week progresses.
The official start to spring is on March 20.