Winter weather closes highways, schools in southern Manitoba

It may seem relatively calm and mild in Winnipeg, but many other parts of Manitoba are waking up to winter weather warnings that have forced some schools and highways to close.

A blizzard warning is in effect for southwest Manitoba, including Killarney, Boissevain, Melita, Virden, Minnedosa and Riding Mountain.

Strong, northwesterly winds in excess of 90 km/h are expected along with falling snow, which combined will create blizzard conditions with zero visibility, Environment Canada forecasts.

Meanwhile, a freezing rain warning is in effect for parts of the Interlake and Whiteshell regions, as well as Nopiming, Northwest Angle Provincial Forest and three big Manitoba lakes: Winnipeg, Manitoba and Winnipegosis.

To the north, The Pas and Flin Flon areas are under a winter storm watch. About 10 centimetres of snow is expected Thursday. 

Weather warnings are in effect for parts of northern, southwestern and southeastern Manitoba as well as the Interlake region. (Environment Canada )

Poor weather conditions have led to some highway closures as well as school closures for the day. 

The Trans-Canada Highway from Portage la Prairie to Winnipeg is closed due to poor winter driving conditions.

The Trans-Canada is completely closed from Highway 207 to Highway 11 and the westbound lanes are closed from Highway 11 to the Ontario border.

Other road closures include sections of Highways 5, 16, 45 and 83 in western Manitoba.

School closures

School closures are beginning to pile up as weather conditions deteriorate. 

In Prairie Rose School Division, bus service and in-class and remote learning are cancelled Thursday. Staff are asked to report to school when it’s safe to travel.

Southwest Horizon School Division is closed today. There will be no buses but remote classes will continue.

In Beautiful Plains School Division, schools are open but buses are not running. Colony schools, Brookdale School and J. M. Young School are closed, while all other schools are open.

Evergreen School Division is also closed, though students in grades 7 to 12 are asked to check in with their teachers. 

All schools in Lakeshore School Division are closed due to unsafe driving conditions. There will be no remote learning.

Fort La Bosse School Division and the Park West School Division, which both oversee schools in southwestern Manitoba, have closed all of their schools for the day.