Tuesday, October 8th 2019, 8:10 pm - How would you like a side of blizzard with your turkey this Thanksgiving long weekend?
Although October can be known for its changeable weather and wild temperature swings, "widespread blizzard conditions" and "dangerous to impossible travel" may not be what you'd expect so early in the fall season. Special weather statements are already in place ahead of a potent stateside system that could dump more than 20 cm of snow over parts of southern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario through the early part of this Thanksgiving long weekend. More on the timing of this storm, and when and where to expect the worst travel conditions, below.
Visit our Complete Guide to Fall 2019 for an in-depth look at the Fall Forecast, tips to plan for it and a sneak peek at the winter ahead
WATCH BELOW: TIMING THE HEAVY SNOW, STRONG WINDS FOR MANITOBA
While Manitoba will mostly escape the early-week storm that brought another round of heavy snow to Alberta, the province will get its turn in the spotlight later this week. The unseasonably warm conditions that started this week in the region will give way to a significant late week system -- one threatens heavy snow and treacherous travel.
"This high impact snowstorm looks to last from Thursday through to Saturday for a large part of southern Manitoba and parts of the U.S. Upper Midwest," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. "We're watching an increasing threat for widespread blizzard conditions with the potential for severe impacts on transportation and agriculture."
Extended wintry weather is possible for the weekend, as wet snow will develop well ahead of the Colorado low as a passing cold front sends temperatures tumbling.
There will be a fine line between rain and snow, with temperatures near or just above the freezing mark, so a wide range in accumulations is likely. Elevation will also have a significant impact. Snow totals may reach 20 to 40 centimetres for the hardest-hit parts of the region with potentially locally higher amounts.
"The highest impacts are expected to include the Winnipeg area, extending to the U.S. border and possibly as far west as Brandon," Gillham says, adding that this storm may bring blizzard conditions with sustained winds over 40 km/h. "Travel will be hazardous to near impossible during the height of the storm."
There's also the potential for tree damage and power outages as the foliage is still on most trees, and heavy, wind-driven wet snow is expected.
The system will also bring wind and rain to the westernmost parts of northern Ontario through Saturday with significant wet snow possible to the west and north of the Kenora area.
Conditions will gradually improve through Sunday and Thanksgiving Monday, with milder weather spreading into western parts of Manitoba next week.