Major blizzard coming to Manitoba that could be the worst in decades: Environment Canada

Environment Canada is warning of a major storm coming to southern Manitoba this week that has the potential to be the worst blizzard in decades.

On Monday, the weather agency issued a winter storm watch for several parts of southern Manitoba, including Winnipeg, Brandon, Selkirk and Portage la Prairie.

According to the storm watch, the blizzard is set to hit southern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan mid-week, bringing with it heavy snow, strong winds and poor visibility.

The blizzard is being brought on by a Colorado low moving towards Minnesota on Tuesday night, which will bring a heavy swath of snow from southeastern Saskatchewan into southern Manitoba.

The snow will begin on Tuesday evening near the international border and will travel north throughout the night. Environment Canada notes that heavy snow will be falling by Wednesday morning throughout most of southern Manitoba.

The snow and strong winds are expected to continue until Friday morning as the Colorado low pivots through Minnesota into northwestern Ontario.

Environment Canada predicts snowfall accumulations of 30 to 50 centimetres by Friday morning. However, in the higher terrain of western Manitoba and the western Red River Valley snowfall totals could reach 80 centimetres.

The weather agency warns that travel will become increasingly difficult throughout the day on Wednesday, noting that highway closures are a near certainty. It added that by Wednesday evening it may become impossible to travel even within communities, and expects more of the same on Thursday.

Environment Canada is advising people not to plan to travel as “this storm has the potential to be the worst blizzard in decades.” The weather agency said Manitobans should stock up on supplies and medications, and should expect power outages.

Weather conditions in southern Manitoba should improve by Friday, although storm cleanup could last into next week.

Public Safety Canada encourages people to make an emergency plan and get an emergency kit.

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