Manitoba’s latest blast of weather may not have reached the historic proportions some were expecting, but the snowfall totals were on par with expectations.
Environment Canada says the largest reported snowfall came from Onanole and Riding Mountain National Park at 82 centimeters. Further south, Killarney saw around 60 cm. The south-central region, including Winnipeg, got anywhere between 25 to 35 cm, although slightly more came down closer to the border, with Morden recording 38 cm.
Just north of Winnipeg, Selkirk was hit a little harder. It got around 45 cm.
Environment Canada notes the measurements were reported by volunteers and are considered preliminary and unofficial.
“This system has pretty much moved off into Atlantic Canada and it has weakened significantly,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Dave Carlsen.
“The cloud is being produced over Nova Scotia, arcing over Quebec and then moving from northeast to southwest out over southern Manitoba. So technically we are still being influenced by the system, but by no means is it anything significant.”
Carlsen says Manitoba isn’t out of the woods yet, however, with more snow on the horizon for Sunday afternoon and evening.
He’s expecting areas to the southwest, such as Melita, Brandon, and Pilot Mound, to see somewhat heavier snowfall in the 10 to 15 centimetre range.
Moving east towards the Red River Valley, including Winnipeg and Morden, there will be slightly less, in the neighbourhood of five to 10 centimetres.
“So yeah, it’s not over. And then after that it looks like mid-week, somewhere around Wednesday, we may be looking at decent snowfall as well,” Carlsen said.
“Amounts are varying wildly among the models, but it could be anywhere from a couple of centimetres all the way up to 10 or maybe even a little bit more. I don’t foresee anything like a 30-centimetre snowfall in the forecast models.”
Although the fresh snow may be a nuisance, it shouldn’t lead to any greater flooding concerns, according to civil engineering professor, Jay Doering, from the University of Manitoba.
“The infrastructure has improved so much. All of the communities in the Red River Valley are built to 1997 (flood) plus two feet. We’ve got a greatly expanded floodway and we’ve had significant improvements to the city of Winnipeg’s pumping stations,” Doering said.
“So unless this snow melts incredibly rapidly, and that doesn’t appear to be in the cards, I think this is going to be well within the capacity of what we can handle.”
Meantime, Manitoba Hydro says it had been bracing for an event similar to 2019, when an October snow storm wreaked havoc across southern Manitoba, knocking down power lines across the region and leaving some without electricity for weeks.
This time around, spokesperson Bruce Owen says there was one major difference.
“Leaves were still in the trees (in 2019). That heavy, wet snow clinging to the leaves, trees, branches breaking, coming down on our lines and causing all sorts of problems right across southern Manitoba and in Winnipeg,” Owen said.
“We didn’t see that.”
Still, Owen says there were some localized outages, and power lines were brought down Thursday in a handful of areas including Steinbach, McGregor, Hartley, and Fisher River Cree Nation.
All were dealt with before the day was done.