Major spring storm threatens big snow over eastern Prairies, flood fears rising

A large, and slow moving system will bring periods of heavy rain and snow to the eastern Prairies this week. Manitoba is at a heightened risk of flooding, as the rain sweeps in and the river levels rise

Special weather statements line parts of the eastern Prairies as a far-reaching spring storm threatens periods of heavy rain and snow this week.

Although there still remains some uncertainty on the exact snow totals and where the heaviest bands will be, some of the harder-hit areas could be looking at 20+ cm through Thursday. That's as much colder, northerly air settles in, putting quite the wintry spin on this mid-April week.

MUST SEE: No April fool: Almost every province could see snow next week

For southern Manitoba, the additional precipitation is of concern. With previously melting snow, and the incoming rain, a provincial flood warning has been issued for some areas.

The combination of heavy rain and snow could make for some difficult travel this week. Drivers are being urged to plan ahead and to stay alert to the quickly changing conditions.

Tuesday to Wednesday: Travel disruptions likely with heavy snow threat

A system will develop in central Saskatchewan, stalling over the eastern Prairies for the better portion of this week. Periods of heavy rain and snow are expected, likely impacting commute times, and raising flood fears for the currently vulnerable areas in Manitoba.

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Rain will begin in Saskatchewan Tuesday morning, gradually filling into southern Manitoba throughout the afternoon hours. As temperatures cool later in the day, the precipitation will change to wet snow for most areas, continuing through much of Wednesday across central Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba.

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Winds will be strong, as well, gusting to 60+ km/h across Saskatchewan on Wednesday afternoon.

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While snowfall totals are still somewhat uncertain and could greatly vary, between 10-25 cm is possible over the next several days. The highest totals will likely fall near Thompson, Manitoba. Forecasters will be watching for the transition to wet snow for Saskatoon, Regina and Yorkton, Sask., with subtle changes in temperature and the track of the system influencing overall totals.

The snow will spread into southern Manitoba by Thursday morning, though with much less amounts around 5 cm likely in the Winnipeg area.

Drivers are urged to plan ahead for the changing conditions, with travel disruptions likely amid the gusty winds and snow.

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Rising flood concerns with recent snowmelt and incoming rain

Rainfall totals won't be overly excessive in southern Manitoba either, but with the recent rapid snowmelt and additional precipitation, flood forecasters are on alert.

Late last week, a flood warning was issued for the Assiniboine River, between the Shellmouth Dam and the city of Brandon.

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"A flood warning has been issued for these areas as the rising water levels could impact low-lying areas," a Friday news release from the province said. "The Assiniboine River is expected to be within the banks in the third week of April."

LEARN MORE: Flood warning issued for Assiniboine River near Brandon

As the melt continues and precipitation moves in, river flows and levels are expected to fluctuate in the coming days.

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Manitobans are urged to stay off the weak ice and take caution around water systems, as conditions can change rapidly and without warning.

Stay with The Weather Network for all the latest on this snowstorm across the Prairies.