Saturday morning is starting is very much like Friday ended, with poor driving conditions across parts oft he western Red River Valley and Pembina Valley. Environment Canada ended the Blowing Snow Advisories for the region before 5 a.m., but travel conditions remain challenging.
As of 9:10 a.m. Saturday, all highways had reopened in the Pembina Valley. After the reopening, on your Sun Valley Tire road report, all highways west of Highway 75 are reported as ice and partly ice covered, with blowing and drifting snow producing fair to poor visibility.
"We are seeing the very last lingering impacts from this week's Colorado low which is now getting close to being centred over the Great Lakes, but is still throwing back snow over parts of Southern Manitoba as it spins counter-clockwise and continues to move slowly eastward out of our forecast area," explained CMOS Accredited Weathercaster Chris Sumner Saturday morning. "Another couple centimeters of light snow from the Ontario border to the Manitoba escarpment is likely today, and I expect most of that will fall by early afternoon."
Northerly winds will continue throughout Saturday, with gusts up to 50 km/h, leading to ongoing blowing snow and reduced visibility.
"Now that we've transitioned to light, fluffy snow any winds we see will lead to blowing and drifting now, and that's been evidenced by what we have Saturday morning," he said. "Winds aren't gusting as strong as they were, at times, Friday night, but are still breezy enough to be a concern. We're expecting a cold front to move through Saturday afternoon, and once it has, the winds will diminish by the evening. Blowing snow should be reduced by tonight."
Temperatures may slide a few degrees this afternoon after the cold front passes by, and that will be the beginning stages of what will be an extended period of very cold temperatures.
"High pressure is building in behind this low, as a deep trough in the jet stream allows an airmass originally from Siberia to slide southward, and settle in over much of Western Canada," noted Sumner. "This airmass was responsible for air temperatures in the -50s in Siberia earlier this week. We're not expecting that kind of cold here, but from Tuesday through much of the week, we are looking at highs in the -20s, and overnight lows nearing, or reaching, the -30s."
Sumner added, just how cold it gets, especially overnight, will somewhat depend on cloud cover.
"If we see consistent cloud cover, particularly in the evening hours, we'll stay a few degrees warmer, but it will still be plug in your car cold, that's for sure. At this point, the forecast models are showing the well below average weather will last through Christmas and Boxing Day, and potentially into the final days of 2022."
Averages for this time of year are -10 daytime and -20 overnight.
And, could we be in line for even more snow next week? Sumner thinks we could be.
"It's looking like a couple of minor disturbances will skirt the region Monday, and then potentially again Tuesday evening," he said. "That could lead to another 2 to 7cm by Wednesday afternoon if both snowfalls are added up. We're still early on how those lows will track, but a few more flurries is looking likely."