UPDATE: Drivers report treacherous conditions on highways in the Pembina Valley this afternoon. Listeners and readers say Highway 3 north to Carman has become a sheet of ice mixed with blowing snow. Anyone travelling today is urged to take precautions.
There is currently a blowing snow advisory in effect for the Pembina Valley as well as western Manitoba and the Red River Valley. A cold front approaching from the northwest has caused northwest winds gusting to 60 km/h.
Blowing snow is expected to diminish Tuesday evening when the winds abate. Visibilities will be reduced to 800 metres or less at times. Environment Canada recommends postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve.
With a rash of accidents on Pembina Valley roads recently, MPI's Brian Smiley is reminding drivers to watch their speedometers.
"The number one driving tip is drive to road conditions, meaning reduce your speed. The speed limits are set for ideal road conditions," Smiley says. "I think we would all agree that icy roads, polished ice, blustery conditions are far from ideal."
With the temperature fluctuating around the freezing mark, Smiley notes extra caution is needed. "Give yourself room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you."
Looking at December 2018 there were 12,000 collision claims reported to Manitoba Public Insurance, down from 13,500 during the same period last year.
"We're seeing a slight reduction which is good news, and we're hoping that trend continues into 2019," Smiley says.