October 22, 2013 12:24 pm
Updated: October 22, 2013 1:59 pm

Ice, snow bring winter conditions to Manitoba


WINNIPEG – Winter has started in southern Manitoba as some shovel out from inches of snow that fell Monday and others venture out on icy and snowy highways.

Environment Canada issued a snow squall warning for the rural municipality of Portage la Prairie, including St. Ambroise, Portage la Prairie, the rural municipality of Alexander, including Belair Provincial Forest, the rural municpality of St. Clements, including Grand Beach, Brokenhead and Libau, and the rural municipality of Brokenhead, including Beausejour and Garson.

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Environment Canada meteorologist Dale Marciski said the areas where snow falls can be quite heavy in localized areas.

“It can be quite hazardous sometimes because one can go from an area with no precipitation to one with heavy snowfall in a very short distance,” he said.

The snow squalls are expected to bring up to 15 centimetres of snow in narrow bands, with near-zero visibility in areas, the Environment Canada alert said. The snow squalls should diminish Tuesday evening or overnight.

“In this case, the cold Arctic air is passing over the relatively warm waters of the lakes to our north. Clouds and precipitation develop very quickly in narrow bands and then are carried to the lee of the lakes,” Marciski said.

“These narrow bands can remain almost stationary for a number of hours or as long as the winds continue in the same orientation over the lakes, so in those areas where it is snowing, the amounts can be significant.”

The pale pink areas are under snow squall warnings Tuesday morning.

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A snow squall off Lake Manitoba is affecting the Trans-Canada Highway just east of Portage la Prairie, and the snow squall off Lake Winnipeg is affecting Highway 59 between Selkirk and Victoria Beach, the Environment Canada alert says.

The provincial highway information services website showed highways around the south basin of Lake Winnipeg and around Portage la Prairie had icy, snowy and slushy conditions.

Icy roads were blamed for a crash on the Trans-Canada Highway near the Assiniboine River bridge east of Portage la Prairie on Tuesday morning.

The driver of a 2005 Toyota Rav 4 lost control and rolled into the ditch just before 8 a.m., RCMP said. The four Winnipeggers who were in the vehicle were all taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Winnipeg forecast calls for flurries or rain showers on Tuesday and Wednesday, with a high of 3 C on Tuesday, an overnight low of –5 C and a high Wednesday of 3 C.

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