Southern and central Saskatchewan under a winter storm watch

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm watch across central and southern Saskatchewan.

The agency said the powerful low-pressure system will bring an abrupt return to winter this weekend.

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

An early disturbance on Saturday will affect the northern grainbelt, including Saskatoon and Prince Albert. Environment Canada said 10 to 20 centimetres of snow is expected along with the risk of freezing rain.

“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.

The main system arrives on Sunday, with Environment Canada saying the entire southern half of the province will experience intense and widespread severe winter weather.

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The agency said heavy snowfall will spread northeastward during the day along with northerly winds. Blizzard conditions are possible and may continue into Sunday night.

“We’re going to have reduced visibility, we’re going to have winds gusting up to 60 km/h as the snow falls,” Quinlan said.

“So we actually could see a blizzard warning if we have four consecutive hours of 400-metre visibility or less, especially on Sunday.”

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

In the southeast, Environment Canada said there will be a milder start to the day with accumulating rain and/or freezing rain giving way to heavy snow with strong winds as temperatures steadily fall.

Environment Canada cautioned the timing and intensity of the storm could shift somewhat as the system approaches, but said the current consensus is that 30 to 50 centimetres of snow will cover most of the watch area by Monday morning.

Click to play video 'Regina braces for weekend winter blast' Regina braces for weekend winter blast

Regina braces for weekend winter blast

Driving conditions are expected to deteriorate as the system passes through and Environment Canada said travel should be avoided.

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Rapidly accumulating snow could make travelling difficult and visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow.

The latest road conditions can be found on Saskatchewan’s Highway Hotline.

Officials said anyone heading out should keep others informed of their schedule and destination and carry an emergency kit that includes drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and a flashlight.

Download the SkyTracker weather app for the latest conditions and warnings.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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