After days of mild and fair conditions, it will be looking and feeling a lot more like winter in parts of southern Manitoba this weekend.
A storm system that's developing over the Dakotas will intensify as it moves into Manitoba on Saturday, giving the region a winter-like start to May.
“The province will see mostly rain and scattered thunderstorms throughout the day on Friday,” says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “And as the cold front slides through during the overnight hours, it will transition from rain to snow.”
Environment Canada says the heaviest snowfall amounts are expected over the southwest and Interlake regions with up to 20 cm possible by the time the storm is through. In addition to the heavy snow, strong northerly winds gusting to 70 km/h could also make for dangerous travel conditions over the next couple of days.
“Snowfall in Manitoba is not completely unheard of this late in spring. However, significant accumulations like this are a bit rare,” notes Dillon.
The province has been dealing with a significant spring flood and this onset of wintery weather could complicate matters.
The Weather Network's Natalie Thomas was in Brandon this week and says water levels there have already risen dramatically. She spoke to Brandon Mayor Shari Decter Hirst to find out what resources are available to prevent any further damage.
“The first thing we did was build a permanent dike and one of the reasons Brandon has been able to weather the floods so well so far is because we are protected by that dike,” explains Decter Hirst.
“We have built dramatic sandbag dikes to keep 18 Street and 1st Street open, we had our police services go around to everyone who lives on the flood plain to make sure they understand about an emergency evacuation procedure, so if we do have to evacuate we can get folks out safely and quickly.”