Snow has hit southern Saskatchewan with a bang this week after an unseasonably warm November.
A special weather statement was issued Sunday afternoon for the southeast corner of the province, and by Monday morning a snowfall warning had been issued for the same areas.
By Tuesday morning, areas from Yorkton to Carlyle and points southeast got between 10 and 15 centimetres of snow, according to Environment Canada meteorologist John Paul Cragg.
“A lot of the pileup of the snow is due to the fact that winds have been quite strong, so we are forecasting winds to be around 40 kilometres an hour gusting to 60.”
Cragg said as the snow continued off and on in the southeast through Tuesday, and will continue into Wednesday morning, the wind would continue to be a factor for drivers.
“With those winds the snow is going to be blowing around and you’ll be seeing bigger drifts and reduction of visibility on the roadways and definitely slippery driving conditions.”
Estevan was one of the places which got hit hardest by snow.
“We got a really good dump and then with wind of course it drifted. So some of the drifts were pretty sizable … We’ve had vehicles stuck in the middle of the street, and that type of thing,” said Estevan’s mayor, Roy Ludwig.
Ludwig said the snow was a bit sudden.
“We went from great weather and no snow to a pile of snow overnight, so it was a bit of a shock but of course everybody’s taking it pretty well.”
Though he hadn’t seen any snowmen out on Tuesday morning, he said his wire snowman in his front yard is half-covered in a snow-drift.
Regina got about five centimetres of snow overnight Monday to Tuesday, with a bit more falling Tuesday morning.
The city dispatched ice control crews along with graders after the accumulation got to five centimetres, which kicked off their storm response. They started a Category 1 plow around 7 a.m. and continued with a systematic plow for the rest of the day.
The snow caused some problems on the roads in Regina – between noon on Monday and noon on Tuesday, Regina police said 23 collisions had been reported to them.
The City of Regina is starting this snow season with a bit more in the bank – thanks to the light snowfall last season the city started November with almost $6.3 M in the snow budget from the $9.068 it started out with.
The heavy snowfall is done for Regina from this storm system, but the places in southeast Saskatchewan can expect another 10 to 15 centimetres. The snow is expected to taper off on Wednesday morning.
However, Cragg said freezing drizzle could be in store for areas including the southeast and Regina after the snow.
“Luckily at the end of the week things start to clear up and it looks like we move into the weekend with a little bit better conditions, but not better temperatures,” said Cragg.
This coating of white is expected to stick around for the rest of the winter as the province moves out of an oddly warm November, and into the colder temperatures of what Cragg expects to be a more average December.