Residents of Winnipeg and southern Manitoba are digging out after a major winter storm brought heavy snow, high winds and blizzard conditions to much of the Red River valley Tuesday into Wednesday. In Winnipeg, the storm dumped 25-35 cm of snow over the 2 days, with strong winds gusting to 70 km/h producing significant blowing and drifting snow. It was the city's worst winter storm in several years.. perhaps one of the worst since the blizzard of April 1997. The storm was even worse outside the city as powerful winds of 70 to 80 km/h produced blizzard conditions over the western and southern RRV, leading to the closure of many highways including the TransCanada from Headingly to the SK border, Hwy 75 from Winnipeg to Emerson, as well as highways 2 and 3 southwest of the city.
But now that the storm is ended, there's a new winter hazard to prepare for.. bitter cold. A massive Arctic airmass has settled in over western Canada, and this colder airmass will be be spreading into southern Manitoba over the next couple of days. By Friday, daytime highs are only expected to around -17C with lows in the minus 20s. This will be the first time in 7 weeks that temperatures will be below normal in southern Manitoba. In Winnipeg for example, the average daily temperature has been above normal since Oct 21st, a streak of 48 straight days as of Dec 7th. This streak will come to an end Thursday as a new streak of below normal temperatures begins. Temperatures will remain well below normal through the weekend into next week, with even colder air moving in for mid week next week. Temperatures may dip to -30C or lower by Dec 14th, mid winter cold we haven't experienced since last winter. So break out the parkas and get those block heaters ready.. much colder weather is on the way!