A wintry scene in Winnipeg, 12 Oct 2014 (Facebook/Winnipeg)
The Manitoba government declared a state of emergency on Saturday after a powerful storm dumped heavy rain, freezing rain, snow and wind to southern portions of the province this week.
Amid the early winter blast, Manitoba Hydro is trying to restore electricity to thousands of residents after numerous trees and branches – many still covered in leaves – fell onto power lines with winds gusting up to 100 km/h.
The storm was so bad it forced the temporary closure of the Trans Canada Highway from Winnipeg to the Saskatchewan border.
Southern Manitoba got blasted after a Colorado Low moved in from the United States where it brought dramatic temperature drops and heavy snow to the Great Plains states.
The next concern for local emergency measures officials will be flooding as the snow melts given the rising temperatures forecasted over the next few days.
Snowfall totals as of 1pm CDT on Saturday, October 12th:
- Carberry 74 cm
- Morden 64 cm
- Winnipeg 34 cm
- Dauphin 30 cm
- Brandon 29 cm
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
After a hot and windy day across southern Manitoba, severe thunderstorms developed late Friday afternoon with heavy rain, hail and lightning strikes causing at least one grass fire.
Daytime highs soared to 36.6°C in Winnipeg and 37.3°C in Carman which was the hot spot in Canada.
Temperatures dropped dramatically after the storms rolled through and damaging winds up to 100 km/h were reported in some areas along with nickel-sized hail.
The heat and thunderstorms moved east into northwestern Ontario with Kenora reaching 33.0°C yesterday and Armstrong climbing to 32.3°C today.
A snowy sidewalk in Calgary, 27 April 2019 (Instagram/machadogiselia)
A strong low pressure system brought snow and strong winds to Alberta creating poor visibility and even thunderstorms and a possible tornado were reported.
Emergency officials scrambled to respond to more than 120 road crashes in Calgary on Sunday due to slippery, treacherous conditions after about 15 cm snow fell.
The spring blizzard continued to move across the Prairies where it dumped up to 45 cm on southwestern Saskatchewan including the Cypress Hills area.
The storm crossed into Manitoba with as little as 5 cm in the southeast to about 30 cm in the southwest.
Palm tree flourishing in the heat, SE Calgary, AB, 11 August 2018 (Dearing)
Calgary hit an all-time record high on Friday when the thermometer climbed to 36.5°C which eclipsed the previous record of 36.1°C set 85 years ago.
Environment Canada had issued heat warnings for more than 100 regions in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Besides the heat, smoke from forest fires have caused poor air quality throughout Western Canada.
A cold front lowered temperatures in Alberta to near seasonal values for the weekend but the heat lingered in the eastern Prairies.
We know it snows in Canada in April but an astonishing amount of snow remains on the ground for the middle of the month.
The only snow-free areas as of 18 April are mainland Nova Scotia, extreme SW Ontario, southern Manitoba, SW Saskatchewan, SE Alberta, coastal British Columbia and southern valleys of the interior.
Even much of the northeastern United States and the upper Great Lakes region is still covered in white.
In Greater Moncton, the snow has mostly disappeared except for man-made snowbanks but as much as 100 cm remains in northern New Brunswick.
Winter just won’t let go in Western Canada with Environment Canada noting the duration and intensity of the current cold snap hasn’t been felt since April 1970.
The polar vortex is to blame as the pool of Arctic air sinks south into the Prairies.
Daytime highs in southern Alberta are only climbing to -7 C with overnight lows in the -20’s C in Saskatchewan and -30’s C in Manitoba.
Forecasters say the bitter cold will hang around until the weekend.
Icy road on the Acadian Peninsula, 27 Jan 2017 (Twitter)
Canada had the eighth warmest period in 70 years of reporting weather in 2017, with temperatures averaging 1.4°C above normal.
From a list of 100 significant weather events across the country, Environment Canada picked the top 10 weather stories of the year:
1. Long and destructive summer wildfire season in British Columbia
2. Hot and dry summer in the West from Interior BC to Manitoba
3. Spring flooding in Quebec and Ontario
4. Cold and snowy winter in BC including Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island
5. More heavy rain and flooding in Southwestern Ontario during late August
6. Cool and wet summer in Central Canada
7. Heavy snow cripples Ontario and Quebec in mid-March
8. Record heat across Eastern Canada during September
9. Blizzards hit Newfoundland in March and April
10. Lengthy ice storm impacts New Brunswick in late January
Cooling off in the Elbow River, SW Calgary, AB, 27 July 2017 (Postmedia/G. Young)
Environment Canada issued heat warnings for most of Alberta along with parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba this week in the wake of sizzling high temperatures.
The weather office says a daytime maximum of 30 C or higher could pose an elevated risk of heat-related illnesses and residents should avoid outdoor activities until cooler hours of the day.
Temperatures could climb to 33 C as far north as Thompson and almost 30 C in Churchill along the Hudson Bay coast.
Forecasters say the extreme heat will continue this weekend but a slight cool down is expected early next week.
A blizzard buries front entrance of hotel in Churchill, MB, 09 March 2017 (Twitter)
Blizzards are not uncommon in late winter across the Prairie Provinces but the latest one to grip northern Manitoba lasted three days and dumped 60 cm snow in Churchill with winds up to 120 km/h creating enormous nine metre drifts.
Canada’s Polar Bear Capital declared a local state of emergency in an effort to gain resources from higher levels of government to help deal with the clean up.
Environment Canada says the blizzard in Churchill lasted 58 hours which was the third longest since 1953.
The fierce combination of snow and wind also stranded six people on a highway near Thompson for three days.
Snow in Saskatoon, SK, 05 Oct 2016 (Twitter)
A storm being dubbed Snowtober – Snow in October – has dropped as much as 40 cm of snow on parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Saskatoon received about 20 cm of snow which broke a 100-year-old record yesterday of 5.6 cm while Cypress Hills Park got 40 cm.
Forecasters say the snow cover may stick around for a few days with single digit highs in the long range outlook.
The normal daytime high in Saskatoon for early October is 14 C.