WINNIPEGGERS are expected to need both a snow shovel and an ice-scraper today.
Environment Canada issued a blizzard warning Thursday for a storm predicted to hit the city, the Interlake and the Red River Valley today.
As well, the weather service issued a winter storm warning for Brandon and western Manitoba.
Environment Canada meteorologist Dale Marciski said the warnings are because a Colorado low is pushing toward the province and, combined with a cold front from the north, will cause a lot of blowing snow and poor visibility.
"It will be down to zero visibility at times," Marciski said.
"There's a lot of significant weather to go around here during the next few days."
Environment Canada predicted Winnipeg and southern Manitoba will be enveloped by snow and blowing snow throughout today, with accumulations from 10 to 20 centimetres overall and even higher amounts in some areas. The snow and blizzard conditions won't taper off until Saturday.
But Marciski said because temperatures were still mild Thursday -- it was -2 C at about 11:30 a.m. -- freezing drizzle was forecast Thursday night and overnight, covering vehicles and road surfaces before the temperature dropped and snow arrived.
He said the forecast is -14 C by this afternoon, a high of -18 C Saturday and -30 C Sunday, the first day to be that cold in Winnipeg since Jan. 30, 2011.
Manitoba officials said Thursday provincial snowplow crews were readying for whatever weather comes.
Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation issued a bulletin warning motorists to be careful around snow-clearing equipment.
The department said it has 305 truck plows, sanders and graders to clear 19,000 kilometres of the provincial highway system.
To get the latest road conditions, people can call 511 toll-free, go online at www.mb511.ca or follow the Twitter account www.Twitter.com/MBGovRoads
WARNING TO DRIVERS
All snowplow equipment has flashing blue warning lights.
Stay well back of all equipment.
Always remain alert when approaching or following a snowplow.
Don't pass a snowplow in operation from behind at any time.
Slow down when passing an approaching snowplow in operation.
Stopping a car in winter takes twice the distance on slush as on dry pavement, three times the distance on packed snow and up to 12 times the distance on ice-covered roads.
-- source: Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation