Saskatchewan's living skies gave some residents a light show early Friday morning, but winter storms are also creating treacherous road conditions as they cross the province.
Maidstone RCMP officers are urging drivers not to travel on Highways 17 and 303 or Highway 16 east of Lloydminster as freezing rain and snow create slippery sections.
Power outages also followed thunderstorms overnight, including one that caused blackouts in various Regina neighbourhoods. Social media users also reported storms near Melville, Alsask and Canora, Sask.
SaskPower was still trying to return power to numerous Regina neighbourhoods after 10 a.m. CST Friday morning.
Outages also hit some rural areas, including Prongua, Sweetgrass First Nation, Parkside, Pierceland, Goodsoil, Meadow Lake and Chitek Lake.
Low-pressure system bringing winter weather
The return of winter weather after a period of spring conditions in some parts of Saskatchewan is due to an intense low-pressure system in southern Saskatchewan.
The storm is expected to bring up to 35 centimetres of snow to central and northern parts of the province by Saturday.
Environment Canada said there was also a possibility of up to 45 centimetres in localized areas.
With statutory holidays making it a busy travel weekend, drivers are being warned about hazardous winter conditions, particularly in the area south of Key Lake.
The weather service said Saskatchewan residents should consider postponing non-essential travel in affected areas until conditions improve.
The snow is expected to taper off on Saturday.
Winter storm warnings
Winter storm warnings were in place for the following regions on Friday morning:
- Cree Lake, Key Lake.
- Southend, Brabant Lake, Kinoosao.
- Île à la Crosse, Buffalo Narrows, Beauval.
- La Ronge, Prince Albert National Park, Narrow Hills Provincial Park.
- Pelican Narrows, Cumberland House, Creighton.
- La Loche, Clearwater River Provincial Park, Cluff Lake.
Snowfall warnings were in place for the following areas Friday morning:
- City of Lloydminster, Sask.
- The Battlefords, Unity, Maidstone, St. Walburg.