Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for three regions of southeastern Manitoba.
A powerful early season winter storm is forecast to hit Thursday and create poor travelling conditions, the warning said.
The affected areas include Whiteshell, Lac du Bonnet, Pinawa, Steinbach, St. Adolphe, Dominion City, Vita, Richer, Sprague and the Northwest Angle Provincial Forest, Environment Canada said.
The storm is expected to develop in the Dakotas and spread into southern Manitoba tonight, bringing 20-30 mm of rainfall by Thursday morning. Northerly winds gusting to 70 km/h are expected to increase overnight and usher in colder northern air which could create snow by morning, Environment Canada said.
The rest of southern Manitoba is expected to receive a mix of rain and snow throughout Thursday and linger until Friday as the temperatures fall to single digits, the weather warning said.
15 - 30 cm possible in U.S.
The situation looks more dire south of the border. The U.S. National Weather Service also issued a winter storm warning Wednesday for the northern Red River Valley and northwest Minnesota, including Grand Forks.
"The potential exists for six to 10 inches (15-25 cm) in the northern Red River Valley and 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) across portions of northwest Minnesota," the services said in a bulletin issued at 3:30 p.m.
The U.S. service warned residents of the area to prepare for zero visibility, wind chill values around -6 to -9 C, and the possibility of "heavy snow on tree branches and power lines (causing) them to break."
Residents should only travel in an emergency on Thursday, and carry an extra flashlight, food and water in the vehicle if they must travel.