Prairies: Blowing snow wipes out visibility, dangerous roads
Monday, January 7, 2019, 12:03 PM - Drivers across parts of the Prairies are being asked to take extra caution on Monday as snow and blowing snow make for some treacherous travel conditions. The heavy blast of snow is also giving some students an extended Christmas break with several schools cancelled and buses pulled from the roads. More on how long these dangerous conditions will last, plus a look at the frigid weather that closely follows, below.
- Snow gradually tapers through Monday, but gusty winds prompt blowing snow advisories across Saskatchewan, Manitoba
- Visibilities reduced to 800 metres or less at times with several school closures and buses pulled from the roads
- Seasonably cool temperatures in the system's wake
WATCH BELOW: GUSTY WINDS LEAD TO BLOWING, DRIFTING SNOW
Heavy snow spread through parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba on Sunday with lingering impacts shutting schools and prompting travel warnings to kick off the new work week.
"After a fresh 10-15+ cm of snow that fell over the weekend, southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan are now at the risk of blowing and drifting snow, which could make it dangerous to be out on the roads," says Weather Network meteorologist Kelly Sonnenburg.
Widespread blowing snow advisories were issued across both provinces Monday morning, as several students geared up for an extra day of vacation.
"Blowing snow has begun in the west and will begin in the east this afternoon," says Environment Canada in the advisory. "Visibility will be reduced to 800 metres or less at times."
A cold front will continue to bring strong northwest winds of 40-50 km/h for much of the day on Monday.
"Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions," adds EC. "Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve."
For those students looking for an even longer extended holiday, there's some areas that could see a repeat for Tuesday.
"It's looking unlikely for Saskatchewan, but eastern portions of Manitoba may squeeze out an extra day of vacation on Tuesday if the snowfall keeps up along with the gusty conditions that will continue through the evening and overnight hours," Sonnenburg says.
The blowing snow looks to finally diminish Tuesday evening as the winds gradually ease from west to east. There won't be much relief in terms of temperatures however, as they fall into the minus teens on Tuesday and Wednesday, feeling closer to the -20s when you factor in the wind chill.
"The colder weather will track east late week and weekend while mild Pacific air slowly spreads back across the region," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. "Above seasonal temperatures dominate next week, especially for western sections of the Prairies, but trending colder later in the month for most eastern areas."