Winnipeg spared from the brunt as weekend storm causes widespread highway closures
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Up to 25 centimetres of snow hit parts of southwestern Manitoba over the weekend during a winter storm that caused widespread highway closures and long-lasting blizzard conditions in some areas.
Winnipeg was spared from the brunt of the storm. The city received about five to 10 centimetres of snow Saturday, while between 15 to 25 centimetres fell south and west of the city, blanketing Altona, Morden, Miami and communities nearby, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Stephen Berg, a Winnipeg-based meteorologist for the department, said the winter storm was “not vastly beyond normal” for this time of year, except for prolonged blizzard conditions in Brandon.
Brandon’s blizzard lasted all day Saturday, from about 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., according to observations recorded by Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Heavy, blowing snow prompted many highway closures and blizzard warnings through much of southwestern Manitoba, which by Sunday morning had mostly reopened and cleared.
As of early Sunday, Winnipeg crews were plowing and sanding as part of a “major snow-clearing operation” tackling, by priority, the city’s streets, sidewalks and active-transportation paths, according to the City of Winnipeg’s social media alerts.
This winter has been milder than usual, and the forecast for the next few days is calm. But that doesn’t mean another snowstorm won’t happen before winter’s end; Berg said it’s a possibility, noting the frequency of past winter storms and blizzards into April.
“It cannot be ruled out,” he said.
Overall, the temperature has warmed this winter to about half a degree above normal within Winnipeg, compared to historical winter weather data, Berg said. The Red River Valley has had less snow than usual, too; the precipitation rate this winter has been 50 to 70 per cent of the normal range.
Katie May is a general-assignment reporter for the Free Press.