Layer of snow covers parts of southwestern Manitoba

By | May 9, 2020

Manitobans in the southwest part of the province woke up to an unseasonable, and perhaps unwelcome, surprise Saturday morning: snow.

So far, it looks like Brandon was the hardest hit, with about 10 centimetres overnight, said Environment Canada meteorologist Chris Stammers.

Shoal Lake was also hit hard, with somewhere between five and eight centimetres of snow falling in that area overnight.

Cypress River got about seven centimetres of snow, while Roblin saw around five centimetres and Melita between one and two centimetres.

Stammers said numbers from other communities in that area were still coming in Saturday morning, but he doesn’t expect any of them got more snow than Brandon.

A Brandon church topped with a layer of fresh snow Saturday morning. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

“Certainly, 10 centimetres seems like a pretty good upper limit for now,” he said.

The snowfall in southwestern Manitoba was the result of a low-pressure weather system coming from the northern Prairies, he said. 

Combine that with an injection of cold air from a strong ridge of high pressure streaming down from the Arctic, and rain changes to snow.

“It’s not unheard of to have snowfall in May in southern Manitoba. I would say every other year there is probably snow somewhere in southern Manitoba,” Stammers said.

“But certainly, it’s not a regular occurrence either — not something you see every day in May.”

Stammers said the snow won’t last long. Even though Manitoba is seeing temperatures below normal — the usual daytime high for this time of year in southern Manitoba is 18 C — they’ll still be well above zero.

“So you’re going to see a fair bit of melting over the next couple of days,” he said, adding temperatures are expected to rise closer to the usual highs by next weekend.

“Seems like hopefully the worst is now behind us.”

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