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Heavy swath of snow makes for difficult winter driving for parts of the Prairies

Tuesday, March 9th 2021, 11:20 am - Wintry weather quickly sets up behind record breaking warmth on the Prairies

After a brief fling with spring-like and even record breaking warmth to kick off March, Arctic air is has spiralled back onto the Prairies, bringing widespread snow through Tuesday, followed by a quick plunge in temperatures for the rest of the week. Snowfall warnings remain in effect for the hardest-hit regions in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations throughout the day.

Visit our Complete Guide to Spring 2021 for an in-depth look at the Spring Forecast, tips to plan for it and much more!

After reaching Saskatchewan through the overnight hours on Monday, a low-pressure system will continue to push snow into the region through the day on Tuesday. The band of snow will track from east of Swift Current to Yorkton, though the risk for freezing rain has diminished and is no longer a hazard for the area.


A band of heavy snow will also spill across parts of central Manitoba through Tuesday, with the southern edge of the warning region, north of Winnipeg, also in line to pick up some freezing rain or a rain/freezing rain mix.

In all, Saskatoon will see less than 5 cm of snow accumulate, while Regina and Swift Current will see between 5-10 cm, and Yorkton could see about 15 cm of snow by the time it tapers later Tuesday. The snow will miss Brandon and Winnipeg, but central regions of Manitoba could see between 10-20 cm of snow through Wednesday morning.

Snowfall warnings are in effect for the region, urging drivers to adjust to the changing conditions.

"Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow," says Environment Canada in the warning.


Because of the track of the storm, northwestern Ontario is expected to bear the brunt of the heaviest snowfall totals. Between 15-30 cm could accumulate by Wednesday morning in areas north of Red Lake through Webequie. Areas with temperatures above freezing may receive lower snowfall amounts due to rain mixing with snow.


As well, strong north-northeast winds gusting to 60 km/h will begin Tuesday afternoon. Heavy snow combined with strong gusts may lead to periods of reduced visibilities.

By Wednesday, most of central and northern areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan will be below 0°C, feeling like the upper minus single digits with the wind chill.


Beyond, no major systems for the rest of the week, but some upslope snow for western Alberta on Wednesday. After the mid-week chill, milder weather will spread west to east across the region late week and weekend, then turning colder for early and middle of next week.

There is the potential for significant snow for Alberta Sunday night into Monday with a system and cold front.

Be sure to check back for the latest updates on the snow forecast across the Prairies.

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