Southern Manitoba will see its first widespread snowfall of the season over the next twenty-four hours as a Colorado low moves through the Dakotas and Minnesota, clipping part of the province today through Friday morning. Snowfall Warnings have been issued from the Killarney region in the west, along the U.S. border eastward to the Ontario border, encompassing the entire Red River Valley and Southeastern corner of the province. Currently, communities including Pilot Mound, Manitou, Morden, Winkler, Altona, Emerson, Morris, Vita and Steinbach are included. There are no warnings as of yet for Portage la Prairie and area, however, we could see around 10 centimeters of the white stuff.
"As we've seen the track of this storm solidify, and we get a better handle on where the heaviest snow will land, this system has inched a little closer to our region, and that's why the expected storm totals have increased in many areas," explained CMOS Accredited Weathercaster Chris Sumner Thursday morning. "For the regions currently within a Warning, it's a guarantee you will see snow. The question will be just how close they get to the upper range of the projections."
According to Environment Canada heavy snowfall will begin Thursday afternoon, with 10-20 cm possible in some areas by tomorrow morning. The extreme southeast corner of the province, regions east of the Red River especially, could exceed 25 cm by the time the system has moved out of the area.
"To be clear, this will be a significant early-season winter storm, and it's important for all of us to switch our thinking to winter driving conditions and how the impacts of this Colorado low will affect our plans for the next day or two," stressed Sumner. "The snow is only one part of this story, with very gusty northerly winds up to 70 km/h developing before noon Thursday. Those winds, combined with the expected snowfall, will lead to very poor visibility Thursday night and overnight into Friday, potentially reaching borderline Blizzard Warning criteria. Checking road conditions will be crucial later today and tonight, and be prepared to change travel plans. It's been quite a while since we've had a significant winter storm, and you will not want to take this one lightly."
The worst conditions are expected between late this afternoon and overnight, with low visibility in heavy falling snow and local blowing snow. The strong winds are also expected to diminish by Friday morning but still remain breezy up to 40 km/h. The closer you are to the American border, the worse the conditions are expected to be. There are Blizzard warnings in effect for much of North Dakota and Grand Forks is expecting as much as 40 centimeters of the white stuff.
The snowfall in Manitoba will ease by Friday morning, with Remembrance Day expected to be mainly cloudy, with a small chance of flurries.
"As this system moves eastward, Arctic high pressure will slide southward, helping create a trough in the jet stream, meaning cooler weather will be here for a few days," said Sumner. "Highs Friday through early next week will be below average between -4 and -9. Normals right now are +1 daytime and -8 overnight."