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Winter storm exits the Prairies, blankets northwestern Ontario

Staff writers

January 13, 2013 — The powerful winter storm that walloped southern Manitoba is now targeting parts of Ontario.

Some northwestern communities for 20 cm of snow or more into Saturday night.
Some northwestern communities for 20 cm of snow or more into Saturday night.

On Saturday night, the blizzard that swept across southern Manitoba on Friday dumped 20 to 30 cm of snow on parts of northwestern Ontario before finally petering out.

Red Lake posted the most, 36 cm, but communities like Kenora and Sioux Lookout got around 20 cm as well.

Further south, areas around Sudbury and North Bay had freezing rain warnings in place, dropping as the morning wore on.

At the same time, cities in parts of the north were basking in temperatures as high as the upper single digits on Saturday, breaking records dating back more than 20 years in one case.

That community, Sault Ste. Marie, boasted the highest temperature in the region on Saturday. At 8.6 degrees, it blew the previous record, 3.9 degrees in 1992, out of the water. Other record-breaking highs ranged from 8 degrees in Timmins, down to 7.2 degrees in Sudbury.

The snow that hit parts of the region was part of a low pressure system moving across the Prairies last week that brought icy roads and snowy conditions to much of the city's major cities.

Between 20-40 cm of snow fell on southern Alberta midweek, with the City of Calgary picking up 18 cm.

The system continued to push east Thursday afternoon, resulting in blizzard and winter storm warnings for several communities in southern Saskatchewan, and later Manitoba.

Starting at around 3 a.m. local time Friday, officials closed the Trans-Canada Highway near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. By noon on Friday, some residents of the city were reporting snowdrifts nearly two metres high, with some residents so snowed in, they couldn't get their doors open.

Parts of the city came to a stand-still as plows worked to keep up with drifts that would fill back in almost as soon as they were cleared.

With files from the Canadian Press

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