Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning asking travellers to consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve.
The warning issued at 11 a.m. Friday is in effect for 15 hours. Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions, it says
The hazardous winter conditions include heavy snow and blowing snow beginning this afternoon.
Snow will move into southern Manitoba late this afternoon and intensify overnight. Total snowfall accumulations will be in the 10 to 20 cm range by the time the snow begins to taper off on Saturday.
Gusty northwest winds will develop overnight and strengthen on Saturday with gusts up to 70 km/h forecast. These winds combined with the falling snow will cause significantly reduced visibilities in blowing snow.
Conditions will gradually improve Saturday evening.
Additionally, Environment Canada urges travellers to stay alert for updated bulletins ‘as this system is still developing, and bulletins may change as the system approaches.
Visibility will be suddenly reduced to near zero at times in heavy snow and blowing snow.
Winter storm warnings are issued when multiple types of severe winter weather are expected to occur together.
From Instant Weather issued on Jan. 16
Forecaster: Brennen Perry
After being locked in the deep freeze over the past few days, Mother Nature has more in store for Manitoba! An expansive low-pressure system stretching from Texas to Minnesota will bring some heavy snowfall as mainly to parts of southeastern and south-central Manitoba. The snowfall will begin during the mid to late afternoon on Friday as it crosses the international border around Winkler and Steinbach. Heavy snowfall will be present for much of the evening and past the midnight hour with the worst conditions expected roughly southeast of a line from Portage la Prairie and Pine Falls. Strong wind gusts ranging from 40-60 km/h combined with the heavy snowfall will likely cause horrible road conditions due to blowing snow, especially overnight and into Saturday morning. Road closures are possible. The overall precipitation gradient will be extremely tight so the overall impact will be much less as you head toward the west. Snowfall will slowly dissipate after sunrise on Saturday as the system moves off into Ontario with flurries lingering for much of the day.
As we mentioned above, the bulk of the moisture associated with this system will be focused on the southeastern section of Manitoba so that’s where the heaviest accumulation will be found. Locations like Winkler, Carman, Steinbach, Winnipeg, Stonewall and Selkirk can expect between 15-25 cm of accumulation by Saturday evening. All of Central and Northern Manitoba including the Interlake region will see accumulation ranging from 10-20 cm. The least amount of snow from this storm is expected in southwestern Manitoba where Brandon, Roblin and Killarney will be lucky to see over 5 cm of accumulation. Locations including Virden, Souris, Boissevain are on track to avoid most of the impact from this system with just flurries and less than 5 cm of accumulation.