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Dangerous travel remains as heavy snow wallops the Prairies, NW Ontario

Friday, November 12th 2021, 6:30 pm - Not out of the woods just yet as an early season snow storm continues to slowly move eastwards into northwestern Ontario Friday.

Winter arrived in full force across parts of the eastern Prairies and northwestern Ontario this week, with potent and lingering impacts spreading into Friday as well, and not completely set to exit the region until early Saturday morning for northwestern Ontario. Strong winds will continue to wrap around the low pressure centre as it drifts south into the upper Great Lakes region, with slick driving conditions likely to continue right through Friday evening.

SEE ALSO: Think twice if you're still debating on whether to use winter tires

Wind gusts between 70-85 km/h were reported across southern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario through early Friday, as heavy snow continued to pile up across both regions. This resulted in about 6,600 customers without power around the Interlakes of Manitoba by late Thursday night, with more than 10,000 customers left in the dark across northern Ontario. The weight of the wet and sticky snow resulted in downed power lines, according to hydro officials.


The potent combination of strong winds and heavy snow also made for some treacherous travel conditions and forced the closure of the Trans-Canada Highway in Manitoba near the Ontario border on Thursday, reopening on Friday. The closures expanded past Manitoba's borders heading in both directions late Thursday night, with at least 17 highways partly closed by Friday morning.

RELATED: Trans-Canada Highway out of Manitoba closed in both directions due to storm

The poor road conditions prompted the closure of all schools in the rural Prairie Rose School Division on Friday, as well as bus cancellations for the Winnipeg area.


The snow gradually came to an end across southern Manitoba by Friday afternoon, though continuing into northern Ontario before gradually tapering by Saturday morning. In all, between 20-40 cm of snow was forecast for the hardest-hit places during this early season storm, with pockets of 50 cm certainly not out of the question by the time it winds down.

These totals would actually put some extreme November daily records in jeopardy. Dryden, Ontario for example saw 30 cm fall in one November day back in 1988, while Winnipeg picked up 31 cm in 1919.

Drivers are being urged to continue to prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions, as visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow.

See below for a look at how this early season winter wallop has been impacting much of central Canada.

Dryden snow UGC Nov 11 Dryden, ON - Ela Thakore

Thumbnail image courtesy: Suzanne Pothe/Twitter

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