Blizzard hits Battlefords, Meadow Lake sees heavy snowfall

Meteorologist Terri Lang described the process as a low pressure system developing across the province to the west and blowing across the prairies with strong winds and blowing snow causing poor visibility.

“We have snow, we have wind, then we have colder temperatures,” she said. “Expect snow and blowing snow, especially on the highways. It won’t be a good day to be there.

meadow lake no longer has a warning in place, but the snow continues to accumulate with gusts of wind still varying between 40 and 60 km/h. the Battlefords still experiencing blizzard conditions with gusts of up to 50 km/h and blowing snow that will eventually turn to light snow. Both areas should see between 5 and 15 centimeters of drop in 24 hours.

Lang said the trees in the Meadow Lake area help prevent blowing snow.

“That’s why you don’t see blizzard warnings for the central part of the province,” she said. “When broken down by trees, visibility is not as reduced.”

Light snow from this system should leave behind another major cleanup for road crews and driving conditions should remain less than ideal until at least late Tuesday morning. Given the immediate temperature drop and snow conditions, notices are being sent to motorists to postpone unnecessary trips.

Saskatchewan RCMP said in a news release that officers have observed dangerous roads, which are worsening in several areas of the province and leading to an increase in the number of calls and traffic-related collisions. Some reminders for those who must drive included storing winter clothing, candles, matches and other materials in the vehicle.

“Be prepared for winter conditions and be prepared for the temperature change as well,” Lang said.

Winter conditions do not end with the current storm. A ridge of high pressure will help temperatures drop in the coming days, with a low of -22 C planned for the Battlefords and Meadow Lake. The next few days have highs of -19 C, -23 C and -22 C from Tuesday to Thursday, Wednesday evening being the coldest point of the week. Extreme cold warnings should be issued.

By the weekend, the heat could start to kick in, but Lang said not all models agree, with puffs of arctic air tending to win out. Forecasts currently indicate the Battlefords are warming to -6 C on Sunday, with Meadow Lake reaching -7 C.

“We’ll see if he actually moves,” Lang said.

For the latest road conditions, see Roadside assistance line.

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Chris B. Hall