Major winter storm still on track to hit Southern Manitoba this weekend
Whether its rain, freezing rain, snow or gusty winds, it's likely some combination of that mix will be part of your forecast between Saturday night and Monday night. Environment Canada has extended the Special Weather Statement for the Red River Valley and Southeastern Manitoba, including the Morden, Winkler, Altona, Emerson and Morris regions. A Winter Storm Watch is now in place for all of southwestern Manitoba, as far east as the Pilot Mound, Manitou and Carman regions. You can find your latest forecast details, here. "We continue to see some uncertainty with the exact track of this particular storm," explained CMOS Accredited Weathercaster Chris Sumner. "That's typical with a Colorado low-like system. Why it's so crucial this time around is there will be a fairly sharp line between significant impacts due to heavy snow and winds, and somewhat lesser impacts due to a snow rain mix leading to lower accumulations initially, before a complete changeover to snowfall. That line is hovering somewhere over the Red River Valley, meaning that region and eastward, at least as of right now, could see less snow than areas further west and north." Snow will begin in southern Manitoba Saturday evening. Over southeast portions of the province, snow may change to freezing rain and rain before switching back to snow Sunday night. Strong winds gusting up to 60 km/h Saturday night and Sunday may produce reduced visibilities in blowing snow, depending on the timing of the rain/snow transition. Another #MBstorm is set to bring snow and winds to south & central Manitoba starting Saturday night - with the risk of freezing rain in the southeast. For southern MB, most of the precip falls on Sunday, but snow continues Monday for central and northeastern areas. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/fh9wyb5c4K — ECCC Weather Manitoba (@ECCCWeatherMB) March 1, 2024 Sumner stressed, that doesn't mean those regions remaining within the Special Weather Statement won't be impacted, or see travel conditions deteriorate throughout Sunday in some regard. "As an area of warm air is pulled into the leading edge of the system Saturday night into Sunday morning, that means a higher chance of freezing rain developing before a changeover to rain if temperatures push above zero as currently forecasted for Sunday," he said. "The current guidance is for temperatures to remain above freezing Sunday for the Red River Valley and Southeastern Manitoba, before dropping overnight, meaning a changeover to snowfall into Monday morning." Sumner added as the low pressure system's track continues to develop, so will the area of that rain/snow line. "With that in mind, it's difficult to say with much certainly, right now, just how much snow may fall in the Red River Valley and Southeastern Manitoba," he said. "Depending on how this system pulls into the province, we could still see changes, so please keep a close eye on the forecast," he noted. For the latest Road Report information, click here. Meanwhile, for the southwestern part of the province, it is a much different story, with a high level of certainty regarding substantial snowfall between Saturday night and Monday morning. "A low pressure system from Montana will bring snow beginning in the southwest section of Manitoba on Saturday afternoon," explained the latest Winter Storm Watch update from Environment Canada. "Along with the snow, gusty winds will create blowing snow and reduced visibility. This area of snow and blowing snow will move northeast and cover much of the southern half of the province by Sunday morning. Snow is expected to rapidly accumulate on Sunday and Sunday night along with possible near blizzard conditions. Snow and blowing snow will continue through Monday. Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. Travel is expected to be hazardous due to reduced visibility in some locations." At this point, 10 to 20cms of snow is likely across the Southwestern portion of the province. Impacts from this low will continue into Monday, and it will be Monday night before it finally has moved out of our area. This storm comes on the heels of the Manitoba Hydrologic Forecast Centre's latest Spring Flood Outlook which indicated a low to moderate risk of flooding in the Red River Valley, and a low risk for the Assiniboine and Souris. "The Manitoba Hydrologic Forecast Centre will analyze the data from the precipitation system once it clears the province, and factor this information into the March Flood Outlook Report, which will be released in late March," stated a late Friday afternoon news release from the Province.