Spring may have arrived on the calendar, but Mother Nature is giving Saskatchewan another taste of winter.
Snow fell throughout most of Friday in a band right across southern Saskatchewan.
Gusting winds, blowing snow and poor visibility led to travel not being recommended for a number of highways in and out of Regina, including the entire stretch to Saskatoon.
It was the same situation on the highways east of Saskatoon and north and south of Moose Jaw.
Saskatchewan RCMP were called to a number of collisions, including a multi-vehicle crash on Ring Road in Regina’s south end around 3 p.m.
The collision closed the eastbound lanes between Albert Street and Wascana Parkway. Westbound traffic was down to one lane to allow emergency vehicles to reach the crash site
RCMP also responded to a jack-knifed semi on Highway 1 about one kilometre east of White City around 4 p.m. The semi blocked eastbound traffic for a few hours.
There were icy, slick and slushy conditions in all of the major cities in the southern part of the province, with 10 collisions reported to Regina police in a four-hour period.
“We anticipate the roads will be fairly slippery and slushy and overnight with the freezing it could make driving a little more treacherous,” said Norm Kyle, Regina’s manager of winter road maintenance.
“People need to be very cautious out there again because of the snow drifts with the blowing snow. There’s more of a potential to get caught on a snow drift that it is to get stuck on a street.”
By mid-morning, police in Saskatoon issued a travel advisory for the city. Blowing snow conditions there led to at least seven collisions on slick roads.
Snow crews in both cities were already out by the afternoon, with Regina declaring its snow routes in effect.
That means a parking ban is in effect for the Queen City on certain routes so plows can clear streets.
Friday’s formidable weather marks the second snow storm in less than a month, with a massive dump of snow that forced the cancellation of school buses for four days.
Environment Canada anticipated the storm, issuing watches and warnings on Thursday.
“Most of the day, it’ll be snowy with often some blowing snow,” David Baggley, meteorologist with Environment Canada explained. “The snow will begin to taper off and it’ll be ending in the evening.”
It was forecast Regina would see around 10 centimetres, about four inches, of snow; about half that was expected for Saskatoon.
Areas closer to the U.S. border would get around 15 centimetres, or about six inches.
Drivers are encouraged to check the province’s Highway Hotline before hitting the road.