A Colorado Low is making its way towards southern Manitoba.
But Natalie Hasell with Environment Canada says by no means will this be one of the worst Colorado Lows we have ever seen. She refers to it more as "run of the mill."
Hasell says the Red River Valley should start to see rain by late Wednesday afternoon. Then, by Thursday afternoon, the precipitation should turn to snow. She says rainfall totals could be anywhere from five to 15 millimetres for the Red River Valley and southeastern Manitoba. And, anywhere from five to 10 centimetres of snow is expected for this same area. Hasell explains that because it might take longer for the rain to switch to snow in the southeast corner of the province, rainfall totals near the Ontario border could be higher than areas further west.
Hasell says as the rain shifts to snow, there could be freezing drizzle. She notes this is also about the time that winds are expected to pick up.
"We're not talking about particularly strong winds," she says.
Rather, wind gusts could reach 60 kilometres per hour, or slightly stronger, depending on the location in southern Manitoba.
However, she says because the snow will be wet and sticky, it probably will not blow around much after it hits the ground. Further to that, because of our mild weather the last couple of weeks, whatever snow is left on the fields and in ditches is slushy or solid and will also not move around in windy conditions. Hasell cautions though that while the snow is falling, visibilities will probably be reduced.
According to Hasell, the snow and wind should taper off Friday morning in the Red River Valley. Then, in the wake of this system, the air will get colder with daytime highs between -5 and -10 degrees from Saturday through Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Environment Canada says the system will be quite different for areas of western Manitoba. Periods of snow will begin Wednesday evening in southeastern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba through the Interlake. Snow will end there on Thursday evening. Total accumulations of 10 to 15 centimetres in 24 hours are expected with the exception of up to 25 centimetres near the Riding Mountains. Snowfall warnings are likely for portions of western Manitoba.