Storm system cuts through Manitoba, brings snow, rainfall warnings

By | October 10, 2019

Manitoba is getting pelted by a bit of everything — rain, snow, sleet, slush and ice pellets — as the first storm system of the season rolls through the southern half of the province.

A Colorado low, which moved in from the United States on Wednesday, is cutting across Manitoba from the southwest corner into the Red River Valley and northwestward toward Berens River.

As a result, the entire southern region is littered with winter storm warnings, winter storm watches and rainfall warnings. As well, travel is expected to be hazardous in many areas due to reduced visibility.

Whether an area is getting snow or rain depends on which side of the storm’s line it falls. The line pretty much bisects Winnipeg, which is getting a mix of both and everything in between.

West and north of Winnipeg, where temperatures are lower due to a cold front from Saskatchewan, there’s a winter storm warning, with 10-15 centimetres of snow expected along the Manitoba escarpment.

Snow started falling in Winnipeg well before the sun came up on Thursday. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

South and east of Winnipeg, there’s a rainfall warning. Already saturated places like Steinbach, the Whiteshell and Sprague could see another 20-40 millimetres.

In Winnipeg, temperatures will be just slightly above the freezing mark Thursday, which should limit snow accumulations, Environment Canada said. Most of it will melt on contact.

The storm system is also bringing strong northerly winds. The combination of those and the wet snow could pose a problem with tree branches or power lines, Environment Canada said.

Manitoba Hydro also Tweeted a similar warning.

Hydro spokesman Bruce Owen said preparations began earlier this week, when the grim forecasts first came out, to ensure staff and equipment would be at the ready to respond.

“For example, some on-call staff have taken field vehicles home so they can respond to outages at a moment’s notice. We are also co-ordinating response with other emergency services, such as the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, in the event we see power lines down in Winnipeg,” he said.