Saskatoon, Prince Albert, North Battleford under snowfall warning

People in central Saskatchewan are bracing for heavy snow with a winter storm moving through the area.

On Wednesday morning, Environment and Climate Change Canada posted a snowfall warning that included Lloydminster, North Battleford, Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Melfort.

Anywhere from 10 to 15 centimetres of snow were possible as a trough of low pressure moved into the area. As well, strong winds gusting to 60 or 70 km/h were possible.

The blowing snow made travel difficult at times and visibility could be suddenly reduced.

The City of Saskatoon said crews were out Wednesday morning applying pre-wet sand and salt for traction ahead of the storm. Plows were also ready to keep Circle Drive and other priority streets clear.

In the evening and overnight, city and contractor graders were scheduled to clear snow, starting with the busiest streets. The city said sidewalk and pathway clearing would begin overnight as well.

Saskatoon police said Wednesday afternoon that officers had responded to 19 crashes since 6 a.m. Meanwhile, Regina police said officers had responded to four crashes all day, two of which caused injuries.

Courtney Markewich/CBC

Flights delayed and cancelled

According to the Skyxe International Airport's website, at least three flights have been delayed and another one has been cancelled but it's unclear whether or not the weather is a factor in the changes.

"We are not experiencing any major weather related delays out of YXE at this time but we do encourage all passengers to check with their airlines directly prior to departing for the most up-to-date information," said C.J. Dushinski, vice president of business development and service quality at Skyxe International Airport. 

At the Regina International Airport, CEO James Bogusz said it was "business as usual." 

"Although the weather conditions have been certainly challenging right across Western Canada, we've actually seen a very minimal change to scheduled flight times," he said. "In fact, the vast majority of flights have been going out within approximately 15 to 20 minutes of their scheduled flight time."   He said the exception was the occasional longer delay, roughly 30 minutes, to cities like Toronto. Visibility levels on the airport's main runway is something Bogusz said the airport is monitoring closely.

"We have one of the country's best winter-operations crew," he said. 

Bogusz said the best advice for travellers is to arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes early and to sign up for flight-change notifications from their preferred airlines.

He noted however, some flights may be held up at other, primary airports like Vancouver and Calgary, resulting in delays further down the chain at airports like Regina.