Though we're weeks into spring, we all know that snow is absolutely a possibility in April, and a pair of incoming low-pressure systems look to hammer home that point in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, with the effects of the first set to continue into Monday, followed shortly after by the second. With the expected snow, some cities are on track to receiving double or triple their average accumulations for the month of April, and daily records could be broken. More on the impacts and timing, below.
SUNDAY NIGHT: WINTER-LIKE WEATHER TARGETS SASKATCHEWAN, MANITOBA
A night of difficult travel is ahead for much of the Prairie region. Though precipitation from this first low-pressure system began as snow Sunday morning for many, it rapidly changed to heavy snow, combining with strong winds to make for blowing snow.
Sunday night sees the snow move through eastern Saskatchewan, with the start of mixed precipitation for southeast Manitoba. Winds remain strong, in the 40-60 km/h range.
The snow in Saskatchewan will diminish through the overnight hours, but the heavy snow begins to move into Manitoba over the same time frame, still marked by heavy winds.
"Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow," warns Environment Canada.
MONDAY: ANOTHER ROUND OF SNOW FOR SASKATCHEWAN, MANITOBA
Snowfall from the first low in Saskatchewan will come to a close Monday afternoon, but a second system centred by the Great Lakes will bring waves of additional snowfall into Saskatchewan and Manitoba in the evening, continuing into Tuesday, as well.
Winds in Saskatchewan will ease off somewhat Monday morning, but stay strong in southern Manitoba, with gusts of 50-60 km/h forecast, likely to lead to yet another spate of difficult travel due to blowing snow and poor visibility.
Regina and areas east will be the hardest-hit regions. Regina may see 15-20 cm, while communities near the Manitoba border could see 20-30+ cm. Regions west of Regina to Prince Albert can expect to see 5-15 cm of snow.
Snowfall amounts are particularly uncertain in Manitoba and may vary greatly across the south. Parts of southern Manitoba could see 20-30+ cm of snow. A good portion of the region, including Winnipeg and areas east of this city, may see 15-20 cm, but there are still uncertainties in the forecast.
The low will weaken and depart both provinces by late Tuesday, allowing for a gradual return to more normal temperatures by the end of the week.
POTENTIAL FOR DAILY SNOWFALL RECORDS, AMOUNTS COULD DOUBLE OR TRIPLE MONTHLY AVERAGES
With the expected snow, cities such as Regina and Winnipeg are on track to receiving double or triple their average accumulations for April -- in just a day or two. As well, daily snowfall records will likely be broken if the forecast verifies.
LOOK AHEAD: MAJOR SHIFT IN THE PATTERN SEES GRADUAL TEMPERATURE WARMUP
Well below seasonal temperatures will continue next week -- staying below 0°C for multiple days.
While eastern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba see some moisture relief from the recent dry conditions, just minimal precipitation is expected for southern Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan.
However, during the third week of April, a pattern shift will see temperatures start to rebound as warmer weather will slowly spread east across the western Prairies.
Check back as we continue to monitor the latest forecast on the Prairies.