Winnipeg dodges storm bullet that hammers most of Manitoba

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Winnipeg dodges storm bullet that hammers most of Manitoba

Most of Manitoba is still being hammered by blizzard conditions that have shut down schools and highways and left many people facing considerable drifts — but you'd be hard-pressed to know it if you're in Winnipeg.

"This is a very, very interesting [storm] system, the way it works," said CBC meteorologist John Sauder. "It's a real different situation even just outside the city that's why it's so great to warn [people] not to travel outside the city, especially to the west."

The storm roared into the province late Monday afternoon, causing zero visibility on many roads, and has been going ever since.

The combination of falling snow and northwesterly winds gusting above 90 km/h at times will continue Tuesday, according to Environment Canada, which says it is still creating widespread whiteout conditions with most highways in Westman closed.

Conditions will begin to improve tonight over the Brandon, Dauphin, Minnedosa, and Ste. Rose regions.

Further south, conditions will improve Wednesday morning when the winds finally diminish.  

Further north in the province, gusts of 120 km/h at times are likely, while snowfall totals for this system will be in the 40-60 cm range, Environment Canada said.

For the first time in 30 years, the Kelsey School Division in The Pas is closing schools for a snow day. Some 1,600 students at five schools around the town and Opaskwayk Cree Nation will be at home.

"It's blowing like crazy," said division superintendent Julia McKay. "We actually probably have more snow now than we've had all winter."

Even Brandon University students are getting a snow day.

"With the ongoing storm, doors are blocked and parking lots are heavily snowed in or impassable," a message from the university states. "As we clear paths, it is blowing back in. Staff and students should stay home, and stay warm. For those on campus, for example in residence, we will arrange food services."

Brandon has been under 14 hours of blizzard, has received 25 centimetres of snow since the storm began.

Those in Winnipeg, meanwhile, have only a dusting of snow and a partly cloudy sky.

Although the city dodged that bullet, close to 10 flights to and from the airport have been impacted. The Winnipeg Airports Authority says West Jet cancelled several flights in anticipation of a big storm.

As well, Calm Air has cancelled some flights up north.