It’s been a wintery start to the fall season in parts of Manitoba this week, as heavy, sticky snow has fallen thick and fast, wreaking havoc on the province’s highways and power lines. The early snow has been so heavy that the Trans-Canada Highway has been closed between Brandon and Headingley, and up to 35,000 hydro customers have had power outages over the last 24 hours.
While October snow in Manitoba is not completely unheard of, this three-day snowstorm has arrived considerably earlier than usual, bringing with it unusually harsh conditions. The Weather Network reports that some parts of southwest Manitoba could expect to see more than 50 cm of snow before the weekend arrives, with heavy rain also likely to cause problems for the already-swollen Red River.
The freezing weather arrived into Manitoba on Wednesday, and has been cutting across the southwest corner into the Red River Valley ever since. While the extreme climate is expected to start moving away from the region on Saturday, Winnipeg can still expect an additional 25 cm of snow before then.
In recognition of this unusually heavy and impractically early heavy snowstorm, residents of Manitoba have been taking to social media to share pictures and videos of the crazy conditions, and it looks pretty wild!
One Manitoba local shared a shocking video of the extreme snow in their area, adding the caption, “Multiple slideoffs on the Trans-Canada highway west of Winnipeg, MB in Canada. Road freezing over like an ice rink, and ground blizzard like conditions at times."
Another shared a similar clip, recognizing how early this "winter" had arrived in Manitoba. They explained, “It keeps on falling, another 10-20cms falling tonight and tomorrow. Will be a interesting drive to work tomorrow, roads are slushy, sloppy, and wet."
Several Manitobans also took to Twitter to share photos of the terrible conditions that the trees seemed to be in following the region's unseasonal heavy snow.
One Twitter user wrote, "Assessed the "damage" so far. My least favourite trees took the brunt of it. Hard to say with compaction but easily 20 cm of snow in River Heights."
Another local shared a similar photo, adding, "The trees were woefully unprepared for the snow."
Environment Canada has also released several severe snowstorm warnings to residents of Manitoba, advising locals that the Red River Valley “may be hit with an extraordinary amount of snow.” Their forecast predicts heavy snow, stormy conditions, and strong winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour in some areas.
Environment Canada advises Manitoba residents to stay indoors whenever possible and to avoid travelling in areas with snowy and slippery road conditions.
Stay safe, Manitoba!