Winter wallop hitting Winnipeg, Perimeter Highway closed

Winnipeg’s winter is making itself known.

The first significant snowfall of this season has arrived. Weatherlogics said 12.2 cm fell Wednesday before midnight in Winnipeg. Another 2 to 4 cm of snow is expected for the city Thursday, according to Environment Canada.

The snowfall has prompted some road closures, most notably, the Perimeter Highway, which has been closed since about 10 pm Wednesday evening. Highway 16, from Neepawa to Highway 50 is also shutdown. Manitoba 511 said these closures are due to poor winter driving conditions and icy roads.

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The province passed a new bill last year which prohibits driving on closed roads.

Motorists driving light vehicles such as a car or SUV could face a $298 fine while those driving a heavy vehicle could face a $672 fine.

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Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure’s Derek Trainer said they were out all day Wednesday, mostly in western Manitoba.

“We’re dealing with snow accumulation, more right now in the west, but that’s going to change as the storm moves from west to east. We have crews all over plowing, clearing off drifts.”

Winnipeg and the Red River Valley are under a special weather statement from Environment Canada. The national weather service expects up to 15 cm of snow to accumulate by Thursday evening, thanks to an Alberta Clipper making its way through the region.

Wind will also be a major factor for Winnipeg on Thursday with wind gusting from the northwest at 40 km/h gusting to 60. The temperature is expected to drop to -19C Thursday afternoon with the wind chill making it feel more like -32, so there will be a risk of frostbite.

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