WINNIPEG — With a winter snowstorm expected to hit southern Manitoba on Christmas Day, roads will become dicey and visibility reduced.
A winter storm watch is in effect for Winnipeg and much of the southern portion of the province as the Colorado low roars in on Sunday. Snowfall amounts are expected to be between 15 to 30 centimetres. Areas in the southeast could see up to 40 centimetres.
“Snow will intensify during the late day, Sunday and strong north winds will develop in the evening,” Environment Canada says.
“Widespread blowing snow is expected to increase during the afternoon of Christmas Day, be at its worst Sunday night and early Monday morning, then improve Monday afternoon.”
Conditions will be the worst overnight Sunday and early Monday.
“The best thing to do if a blizzard hits is to avoid all non-essential travel,” says Erika Miller with CAA Manitoba.
“Your family wants you to be safe. It’s far better to miss out on a dinner or boxing day sale than get stuck in an emergency situation on the side of the road.”
CAA recommends checking weather and road conditions if you must venture out, as well as making sure you have a complete roadside kit in your car.
The City of Winnipeg is monitoring the forecast and say it’s ready to deal with the snow by way of sanding, salting and plowing. Main routes, bus routes and collector streets will be targeted first.
Motorists are urged to drive to road conditions and to use extreme caution when driving near any snow clearing equipment or sanding trucks.
Blizzard safety tips
- If you get stuck with your vehicle, stay with your vehicle – it’s shelter and allows help to find you. Never walk away in a storm to flag down help because you can get lost in the snow.
- Don’t overexert yourself by trying to dig your car out. Instead, call for help and ensure your emergency kit items like a scarf distress signal or emergency flares are visible to passing vehicles.
- Do stay warm by exercising occasionally and running the car engine for 10 minutes every half an hour, provided your exhaust pipe isn’t blocked with snow or ice; an exhaust blockage can cause deadly carbon monoxide to seep into the car.
Updated at 11 p.m.