Regina braces for major weekend storm, snowfall upwards of 50 cm

On a day that saw the mercury reach 21.6 °C in Regina, it’s hard to believe the forecast is calling for record amounts of snow over the weekend.

The Queen City and surrounding area could be blasted with 20 to 50 cm of snow, starting Sunday afternoon and lasting through to Monday.

“This is going to be the kind of snow that’s difficult to shovel. It’s very heavy, especially the first batch that’s falling around the freezing mark,” said Global News meteorologist Peter Quinlan.

Read more: ‘One-two punch’ of snow coming to Saskatoon due to Colorado low

It’s expected to come with strong winds upwards of 60 km/h, creating a “blizzard-type scenario,” according to Quinlan.

“That snow will be heaviest through the morning hours with that gusting wind reducing visibility to near zero,” Quinlan said.

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“By that point temperatures will be a little bit cooler, so it will be fluffier snow that will blow around.”

The City of Regina is preparing for the storm. It says it’s ready to deploy 60 pieces of snow removal equipment, including graders, front-end loaders and snow blowers.

“As a city, we haven’t seen a storm that’s forecasted like this in the last number of years,” said Chris Warren, City of Regina roadways and transportation director.

“Our focus is on roads with the greatest volume of traffic, high-speed roads and emergency routes. This pattern continues until the snow has stopped falling.”

Regina’s municipal election is Monday. The snow could affect voter turnout.

“It’s always hard to say to the extent (the snow) will impact people coming out of course, because we don’t know the severity of the storm,” said returning officer Jim Nicol.

According to Warren, crews are prepared to adjust their winter response plan to ensure polling stations are accessible.

Sunday night, crews will focus on major roads and streets in front of polling stations, Warren said.

Read more: Advance poll turn out in Regina nearly double from last municipal election

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As temperatures drop this weekend, the snow is expected to stick around for the next week, if not the rest of the winter, according to Quinlan.

CAA Saskatchewan says it’s time to get your vehicle “winter ready,” starting from the bottom and working your way up.

That means, first and foremost, winter tires.

“The rubber compound is better for traction and stopping power,” said Christine Niemczyk, CAA Saskatchewan’s communication director.

Drivers should also check their tire pressure, battery, block heater, vehicle fluids and brakes, according to Niemczyk.

CAA is prepared for an influx in service calls once the snow hits. It’s reminding drivers to always know their location in case they get stranded.

“Help will be on its way sooner if you know your location,” Niemczyk said.

“Stay in your vehicle. It’s always going to be the best source of temporary shelter.”

CAA recommends carrying a roadside safety kit in the vehicle, which includes winter gear, booster cables, a candle, food and water.

Regina’s current single day snowfall record in November is 23.9 cm set in 2006.

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