More freezing rain possible Sunday night before heavy snowfall
Winter Storm Watch issued December 1
Southern Saskatchewan is bracing for the arrival of winter weather, with Environment Canada issuing a Winter Storm Watch calling for 10 to 15 centimeters of snow followed by frigid arctic air which will plunge the temperature to as low as -28 Celsius later in the week.
The Environment Canada watch is in effect across the Southwest forecast areas of Swift Current - Herbert - Cabri - Kyle - Lucky Lake; Leader - Gull Lake; plus Shaunavon - Maple Creek - Val Marie - Cypress Hills
The watch advises: "A winter storm will intensify over Alberta today and track southeastwards into Southern Saskatchewan on Monday. Milder air on the eastern side of this system may lead to freezing rain over many portions of the province tonight generally along and south of the Trans Canada highway corridor. Colder air on the back side of this system will change the precipitation back to all snow Monday morning. Snowfall will increase in intensity through the day with 10 to 20 centimeters possible with the highest amounts again along and south of the TransCanada highway corridor and over the higher terrain of the Cypress Hills. North to northeast winds will increase in the afternoon gusting to 60 kilometers per hour. The combination of the falling snow and strong winds will lead to reduced visibilities in blowing snow Monday afternoon into late Tuesday morning with blizzard conditions possible over open country. Conditions should gradually improve from north to south Tuesday afternoon as this system tracks into the Dakotas. Frigid Arctic air will sweep in across the province by mid week in behind this system with daytime highs only in the minus 20 range. Warnings for this potentially significant storm may be issued later today."
Warming daytime temperatures on Sunday are expected to help improve the driving conditions on the TransCanada Highway east of Swift Current.
Freezing rain over the Swift Current early this morning, which also impacted more easterly regions, resulted in the RCMP issuing a travel not recommended advisory for motorists on the TransCanada Highway east of the city. They advised that several semis were stranded by the hazardous travel conditions.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure Highway Hotline was listing the TransCanada Highway east of Swift Current in a winter condtiions exist category, with ice covered conditions. The stretch of the TransCanada from Mortlach to Rush Lake was still listed as ice covered late Sunday morning.
Individuals who have to travel during the next week are reminded to visit the Highway Hotline website http://hotline.gov.sk.ca/map/en.html for the most current travel conditions.