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A system that has prompted tornado and blizzard warnings in the U.S. is creating a mess of roadways in parts of Manitoba and Ontario.

Zero visibility, ice covered roads in southern Manitoba, northern Ontario

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Monday, March 31, 2014, 7:46 PM -

A system that has prompted tornado and blizzard warnings in Minnesota is creating a mess of roadways in southern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario, with some communities bracing for up to 50 cm of snow.

"A Colorado Low tracking up the U.S. plains into extreme southern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario is expected to linger through late Tuesday bringing significant snowfall and blizzard conditions," says Weather Network meteorologist Monica Vaswani.

The storm entered the region early Monday morning, and it has been going strong ever since.

Widespread warnings were issued for both provinces, ahead of the "major winter storm" leaving its punishing mark.

"The heaviest swath of snow is expected north and west of Lake Nipigon in regions such as Armstrong and Ignace through to Dryden, with slightly lesser (although still significant) amounts in Manitoba," Vaswani says.

TUNE IN: Be sure to tune into The Weather Network on TV for Storm Watch updates on this developing system

Rain, freezing rain and snow are possible along the western shores of Lake Superior and along the international border late Monday into Tuesday.

"Strong and gusty winds may also whip up the freshly fallen snow, resulting in very low visibility in exposed areas subject to blowing snow," adds Environment Canada in the statement Monday morning.

On Monday evening, the RCMP issued a report of poor driving conditions due to zero visibility, ice covered and snow packed roads on southern Manitoba roadways.

"Delays in response time to emergencies on the highways may occur," the statement says.

"The duration and severity of these poor driving conditions may change suddenly. The RCMP recommends ... that you drive with extra caution, reduce your speed and increase your distance between other vehicles." 

BEAT THE TRAFFIC: How will your commute be affected? Rely on Beat the Traffic for real-time traffic updates that matter to you. Visit www.beatthetraffic.com and download the app on iTunes or Google Play and get there sooner!

Is southern Ontario at risk? 

Current models indicate that this system will impact mainly those in the northwest, but a touch of rain isn't out of the question for the Greater Toronto Area. 

"The system moving through northwestern Ontario Tuesday will bring some light rain to the GTA, just in time for the drive home," Vaswani says.

For a full list of watches and warnings, visit our Alerts page.

Be sure to check back as we continue to monitor this system.

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