Manitoba Daily

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The Manitoba storm is passed, but there is more snow on the way

The blizzard in Manitoba has passed, but there is still more snow on the way.

Key Takeaways:

  • The storm did not reach the historical dimensions that some had projected, but the snowfall totals in Manitoba were on par with predictions.
  • Snowfall will be reduced by five to ten centimeters as it moves east towards the Red River Valley, including Winnipeg and Morden.
  • Although the new snow is inconvenient, Manitoba civil engineering professor Jay Doering says it shouldn’t generate more flooding concerns.

The snowfall totals in Manitoba were on par with estimates, although the storm did not reach the historic proportions that some had predicted.

According to Environment Canada, at 82 millimeters, Onanole and Riding Mountain National Park received the most snowfall. Killarney, to the south, received roughly 60 cm. The south-central region, which includes Winnipeg, received anything from 25 to 35 cm, slightly more along the border, with Morden receiving 38 cm.

Selkirk, located just north of Winnipeg, was affected particularly hard. It reached a height of 45 cm.

The measurements were reported by volunteers and thus are considered preliminary and unofficial by Environment Canada.

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Environment Canada scientist Dave Carlsen said, “This system has moved off into Atlantic Canada, and that has weakened dramatically.”

“The cloud forms above Nova Scotia, then arcing over Quebec before heading northeast to southwest across southern Manitoba. So, theoretically, the system continues to influence us, but it is by no means significant.”

According to Carlsen, Manitoba isn’t out of the woods yet, with further snow forecast for Sunday afternoon and evening.

He expects more snowfall in the 10 to 15-centimeter range in regions to the southwest, including Melita, Brandon, and Pilot Mound.

Moving east into the Red River Valley, containing Winnipeg and Morden, there will be a five to ten-centimeter reduction in snowfall.

“So, no, it’s not over yet.” Then it appears that by mid-week, maybe around Wednesday, we may be in for some significant snowfall,” Carlsen said.

“Amounts varied widely across the models, although they could range from a few millimeters to tens of centimeters.” The forecast models don’t show anything like a 30-centimeter snowfall.”

Although the fresh snow is inconvenient, civil engineering professor Jay Doering of Manitoba says it shouldn’t cause any further flooding worries.

The blizzard in Manitoba has passed, but there is still more snow on the way.
The blizzard in Manitoba has passed, but there is still more snow on the way. Image from CBC News

“The infrastructure has vastly improved. The settlements in the Red River Valley are all designed to withstand a flood of 1997 plus two feet. “We’ve had major enhancements to the city of Winnipeg’s pumping stations, and we’ve had a greatly larger floodway,” Doering added.

“So, unless this snow melts quickly, which doesn’t look to be in the cards, I believe this will be well within our capabilities.”

Meanwhile, Manitoba Hydro claims it has been preparing for an incident comparable to that of October 2019, when a snowstorm wreaked havoc across southern Manitoba, bringing down power lines and leaving some residents without power for weeks.

There was one notable change this time, according to spokesperson Bruce Owen.

“The trees’ leaves were still on the ground” (2019). “That heavy, wet snow hanging to the leaves, trees, and branches breaking, coming down on our lines, and causing problems throughout southern Manitoba and Winnipeg,” Owen said.

“That’s something we didn’t notice.”

Even yet, according to Owen, there were some isolated outages, and power lines were downed in a few communities on Thursday, including Steinbach, McGregor, Hartley, and Fisher River Cree Nation.

Source: CTV News

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