Just as Environment Canada suggested would happen, it’s a stormy morning throughout the Pembina and Red River Valleys with Blizzard Warnings in place for the Morden, Winkler, Altona, Morris, Emerson, Vita and Sprague regions.
"As we talked about Wednesday, what we're seeing this morning in the Red River Valley and Southeastern Manitoba is courtesy of a very strong Colorado Low that’s moving through the U.S. Plains," said CMOS Accredited Weathercaster Chris Sumner Thursday morning. "For the most part, things are playing out as the models had predicted earlier this week, with the Western Red River Valley on the northwest edge of the snowfall, and as you move further east across the Red River and into Southeastern Manitoba toward the Ontario border that snowfall continues."
Sumner noted, overall, it’s looking like the regions within the Blizzard Warnings will receive a total of 10 to 15 cms by the time the snow tapers off later today. Winds are already in the 40 to 60 kilometer per hour range, and Sumner added, they will strengthen this morning.
"Those gusty winds are already causing significant blowing snow and reduced visibility across the Warning areas," explained Sumner. "Now let’s add even gustier winds later Thursday morning when they will increase out of the north to 60 gusting to 80, and that’s when the real blizzard conditions will kick in with near-zero visibility developing. Travel, right now, is already pretty challenging, but will be very, very difficult once those gusts peak later today."
And the big question this morning... when will this blizzard be over?
"By late this afternoon we're expecting conditions to start to improve as the snow ends, and the winds begin to subside somewhat... but I stress only somewhat, ” noted Sumner. "Winds will remain 40 gusting to 60 will into the evening, and will not drop considerably until the overnight hours into Friday morning. Not to mention, highways will still be pretty messy from what’s happened earlier in the day."
He added Friday will be a cloudy day, with the possibility of a lingering flurry or two from this system, and temperatures will be slightly cooler than they've been the last couple days due to being in the northwesterly flow behind this strong low. Daytime highs Friday will be around -5 to -6, with a return to warmer temperatures for the weekend around average to slightly above reaching the -2 to 0 range.