The gusty wind we are so used to in the Central Plains is causing issues for residents in the area once again. Reports from the Tran-Canada highway from travelers east of Portage say traffic is moving albeit at a slower than normal pace.
Just after noon today, the Portage School Division announced there would be no buses running after school because of the poor highway conditions. That put parents of students that use the buses into scramble mode as plans needed to be made to pick up their kids.
Around the same time, a blowing snow advisory was issued for most of our area with the wind expected to howl until close to midnight. Things do however appear to be a little calmer to the west. A good portion of the Central Plains and Pembina Valley areas are under the advisory including Portage la Prairie, the RM of Portage, Elie, Carman, Morden, Winkler, Altona, Emerson, Morris, Vita and Steinbach regions. Blowing snow advisories are issued when winds are expected to create blowing snow giving poor visibility to 800 meters or less for at least 3 hours.
As the wind whipped up, the first major highway was closed early this afternoon. Around 2 p.m., Highway 75 from the Perimeter at the south end of Winnipeg to the US border has been closed in both directions while highway 14 closed from Plum Coulee to highway 75.
The pattern of blowing, drifting, melting, sticking and freezing has been an issue all week, with the already less than ideal road conditions, due to Wednesday night's snowfall in some areas, worsening throughout the day," explained CMOS Accredited Weathercaster Chris Sumner. " The left-overs, if you want to call them that, from Thursday are what's greeting us today, in addition to more blowing and drifting snow that will increase throughout the day."
A strong winter-storm that tracked through the U.S. Mid-west yesterday, will be impacting Ontario today, with Southern Manitoba getting the far western edge of that system.
"Yes, we will see some light snow off the back-side of that powerful storm, but the strong wind is more the story with this one," he said. "The counter-clockwise spin of the low, and how intense it is, coupled with the geography of the Red River Valley, will combine to see northwesterly gusts up to 70 km/h this afternoon and evening. Between the snow left from Wednesday night's event, which primarily impacted areas south of Highway 23, and the additional flakes today, blowing snow and reduced visibility will be a factor this afternoon and Friday evening."