We’re staring down the prospect of yet another major winter storm across eastern sections of the Prairies heading into this weekend. Depending on which side of the storm you wind up on, you could see significant snowfall, high winds, heavy rain, and possibly even a few thunderstorms. More on what you need to know, below.
THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING: CHILLY AND MOSTLY CLOUDY AHEAD OF IMPENDING STORM
The latest low-pressure system to bring active weather to the Prairies will move on its merry way through the overnight hours into Thursday. The bulk of the precipitation will push east and north, with only some residual wrap-around rain and snow showers to contend with across the eastern Prairies.
We’ll enjoy a little bit of breathing room across Saskatchewan and Manitoba on Thursday and the first half of Friday. Generally overcast skies will make the air feel even chillier. Temperatures will remain significantly below seasonal for at least the next week.
Thursday’s predicted high of 2°C in both Regina and Winnipeg comes in significantly below the seasonal high of about 12-13°C for the two cities.
Clouds will thicken up through the day on Friday as our next major storm system approaches.
FRIDAY EVENING THROUGH SUNDAY: MAJOR WINTER STORM ARRIVES
History loves to repeat itself, but weather patterns love to repeat even more.
Some areas that are still recovering from one of the ‘worst’ blizzards in recent memory could be in for a do-over this weekend as forecasters expect a strengthening Colorado low to roll into the eastern Prairies in time for the weekend.
Conditions will begin to deteriorate through the second half of Friday as the low-pressure system pushes into the northern Plains and precipitation starts to spill north across the border. The system will push across Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and northwestern Ontario through the day on Saturday, lingering into the first half of Sunday.
Cold air will keep precipitation types predominantly snow on the northern and western side of the system, while milder air wrapping into the storm from the south should keep communities on the eastern side of the storm rainy and, at times, on alert for some rumbles of thunder.
The low-pressure system looks to track a little farther west than last week’s blizzard, which should keep most of the snow west of Winnipeg.
While there’s still some uncertainty exactly where the heaviest bands of snow will set up, we could see upwards of 20-50 cm of snow in the hardest-hit areas. The track of the impending storm is key to which communities will experience the worst conditions.
As of now, it appears that the heaviest snow is likely to fall somewhere between Regina and Brandon. Communities here are likely to see significant, double-digit snowfall totals by the end of the storm.
The situation is made even worse by the strong winds that are likely to accompany the heavy snow. Gusts of 70-90 km/h will lead to severely reduced visibility and blizzard conditions for some spots.
Milder air on the eastern side of the system will bring a period of heavy, drenching rain to portions of southeastern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario, including Winnipeg and Thunder Bay. Forecasters are watching the potential for the heavy rain to lead to flooding in some areas.
Rain may change over to a period of snow on Sunday as cold air wraps behind the departing storm. This brief burst of snow could bring minor accumulations to the Winnipeg metro.
Looking ahead, calmer conditions should prevail heading into next week. Temperatures will remain significantly below seasonal next week, with the potential for a warming trend as we head toward the end of the month.
Check back frequently for the latest details on this major storm headed for the eastern Prairies.