Manitoba under winter storm watch as weather system heads east

WINNIPEG — Manitobans could be breaking out their snow shovels this weekend as a strong weather system is expected to make its way from the west.

Environment Canada placed central Manitoba under a winter storm watch. It expects a powerful low pressure system to bring significant snow and freezing rain to central and northern Manitoba beginning Sunday afternoon.

The heaviest snowfall is expected on a line from The Pas northeast to Shamattawa. Environment Canada said these areas could see 30 to 50 cm of fresh snow by Monday evening. Gusty northeasterly winds accompanying the snow may also result in reduced visibility.

From the Manitoba Parklands northeast to Island Lake, Environment Canada predicts precipitation will begin as ice pellets or freezing rain, lasting into Sunday night or early Monday before transitioning to snow. The total freezing precipitation accumulations of 5 to 15 mm could be followed by 10 to 20 cm of snow.

The weather service said the details in timing and intensity are likely to shift somewhat as the event approaches.

It recommends avoiding travel if possible as rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations.

Saskatchewan is expected to take the brunt of the storm, with possible record snowfalls being recorded.

Environment Canada is forecasting 30 centimetres of snow in Saskatoon over the weekend with up to 50 cm in the southern part of the province.

This story will be updated as the weather changes.

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