An intense storm system over northern Minnesota is bringing powerful winds, heavy rain and snow over a wide swath of the Northern Plains and eastern Prairies.. the first significant storm of the fall season. After a quiet storm free month, Mother Nature is making up for it with a record setting storm system to close out October. The storm is setting records for the lowest barometric pressure on record for a storm in the Northern Plains (962 mb), and may possibly approach the all time lowest pressure for a non tropical storm in the US (currently at 955 mb)
This storm has brought significant rain over southern MB with at least 25 to 40 mm across the Red River valley, with more expected tonight into Wednesday before it mixes with or changes to snow during the day. Further west, a snowfall warning is in effect for western MB from Swan River to Pilot Mound for 10 to 25 cm of snow tonight into Wednesday.
This will be the season's first major blast of winter weather over Southern Manitoba so residents planning on travel through Western Manitoba tonight or Wednesday should be prepared for hazardous winter travel conditions including the Yellowhead and Transcanada highways west of Portage. Precipitation from this system is expected to stay mainly as rain over the Red River Valley and Southeast Manitoba, however the rain is expected to change to wet snow during the day Wednesday with some slushy accumulations possible by evening. In addition strong northerly winds are expected to develop across Southern Manitoba later today into tonight with gusts to 80 km/h likely over the Red River Valley by Wednesday. Local gusts of 90 to 100 km/h are possible along the southern shores of Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg where northerly winds blow off the open water. Gale warnings are in effect for those lakes with large waves likely tonight and Wednesday with local beach erosion possible. All in all, a powerful storm to take us into the winter season!