Winter Storm Warning Continues on the Prairie

By: plapman , 12:53 PM GMT on March 25, 2009

Today will bring more snow and blowing snow with 5 to 10 cm(2.0 to 3.9 in). Th wind will be from the north at 40 km/h (25 mph) gusting to 60 km/h (37 mph) as the temperature remains steady near -8C(17F).
Tonight, more snow, with another 2 to 4 cm(0.8 to 1.6 in). The wind, northerly at 40 km/h (25 mph) gusting to 60 km/h (37 mph) Then becoming northwest 20 km/h (12 mph) near midnight, will cause local blowing snow this evening. An overnight low of -10C is forecast.
It looks like Abby and me are snowbound again. We never made it out yesterday. The daughter has camped her as roads have hindered her effort to return home.
Winter storm warning for
Portage la Prairie - Headingley - Brunkild - Carman continued

Snow and blowing snow today.

This is a warning that dangerous winter weather conditions are imminent or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions...Listen for updated statements.

A Colorado low in central Minnesota is maintaining an area of snow over southern Manitoba and much of North Dakota and Minnesota. The heaviest area of snow will be just east of Brandon all the way to the Ontario border. The northward extent will be up to Gimli and southward all the way through North Dakota. In addition to yesterdays snowfall, further accumulations today will range from 5 to 10 cm today. Snow will linger tonight with another 2 to 4 cm possible. Conditions should improve by Thursday morning.

In addition to the snow, strong north winds will also give blowing snow and poor to near zero visibilities to many areas especially in the Red River Valley.
============================================================ An updated flood forecast
March 23, 2009

– – –
Indications Continue to Show Flood of 1979 Magnitude Likely

Spring Flood Outlook:
Manitoba Water Stewardship’s Hydrologic Forecast centre reports the flood forecast for the Red River Valley in southern Manitoba remains somewhat uncertain due to a storm system expected to affect the watershed over the next three days. However, indications are a flood of a 1979 magnitude is likely along the Red in Manitoba. The crest is expected at Emerson from April 5 to 10 and at Winnipeg from April 12 to 17.

The first part of the current storm produced 40 to 65 millimetres (1.6 to 2.6 inches) of rain over portions of western Manitoba from Souris to Dauphin yesterday but produced only five to 10 mm (0.2 to 0.4 in.) over the Red River Valley in southern Manitoba. The North Dakota portion of the Red River watershed received five to 10 mm (0.2 to 0.4 in.) and some areas in the Minnesota portion received 40 mm (1.6 in.). This first part of the storm produced less rain over the Red River basin than expected.

The next portion of the storm, expected to move slowly northward over Minnesota in the next few days, is expected to produce 25 to 50 mm (one to two in.) of rain from Grand Forks to Winnipeg and 20 to 30 mm (0.8 to 1.2 in.) from Wahpeton to Grand Forks. Colder weather with sub-zero temperatures and snow is expected to develop in southern Manitoba by Wednesday. This will last until the end of the week and is expected to slow down run-off as water becomes frozen in fields.

The chance of a 1997-magnitude flood in the Manitoba portion is still about 10 per cent. This has not changed from the previous flood outlook as the unfavourable weather scenario for that outlook had assumed the heavy precipitation now forecast. Anticipated peak stages in the Manitoba portion are somewhat less relative to 1997 than at U.S. points due to lower run-off potential on Manitoba tributaries.

Peak stage forecasts for the Red River will now be updated daily. Forecasts will become more reliable as additional information becomes available on actual run-off and weather conditions.

The heavy precipitation in western Manitoba yesterday increased the potential for flooding on the Assiniboine and Souris rivers and in the Westman region. Some localized overland flooding has already been reported. This will subside during the next few days due to colder weather, but is predicted to start again when the weather warms next weekend.

Additional heavy precipitation is expected over the Souris and Pembina river watersheds during the next few days, further increasing the flood potential in these areas. Specific updated forecasts for rivers in western Manitoba will be provided later this week in conjunction with daily reports and flood sheets.

The latest outlooks and reports can be found at:

Flood Liaison Offices:
Tomorrow, two flood liaison offices will open to provide information to residents of the Red River Valley. Flood liaison officers will provide flood-related information to residents including details on existing flood-protection levels, current forecasted flood levels and the status of community ring dike closures. For information on obtaining sand-bagging materials, residents are asked to contact their rural municipality.

The provincial flood liaison offices will be open every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. until the current flood risk is over. The offices are at:
· 871 Southwood Rd, in Morris, 204-746-7325, and
· 200 Saulteaux Cres. in Winnipeg, 204-945-2354.

Red River Valley Preparations:
· Local communities in the Red River Valley, the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization and Manitoba Water Stewardship are finalizing plans for flood response.
· Two full closures of ring dikes are anticipated at Riverside (approximately 55 people) and Roseau River (approximately 800 people.) Evacuation plans are being considered and finalized for these communities, if required. Planning would be co-ordinated through the RM of Morris for Riverside and the Manitoba Association of Native Fire Fighters for the community of Roseau River.
· To date, 11 communities have been identified for potential partial ring dike closures during the flood period. With partial ring dike closures, full community evacuations are not anticipated. It is currently anticipated that there will be alternative routes in and out of these communities. They are Aubigny, Brunkild, Dominion City, Emerson, Gretna, Letellier, Morris, Rosenort, St. Adolphe, Ste. Agathe, and St. Jean Baptiste.
· Planning is underway for limiting travel or closing certain highways and provincial roads as water levels rise. Of particular note, parts of PTH 75 are expected to be limited to traffic and then closed in the coming weeks.
· Motorists are reminded to:
- Respect road barriers that are set up to manage traffic flow safely.
- Water levels can change rapidly – roads will have barriers only if there is potential risk to motorists.
- Driving on a closed road is a risk to individuals and to emergency personnel who may have to respond to any incidents.


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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1. Alleyoops
1:15 PM GMT on March 25, 2009
Good morning Tony. Sorry to hear about the weather being so crappy there again. We are seeing a deluge of rain for the next 4 days but at least the temps will be up in the high 40s to mid 50s for the most part, even a 60 is possible by Thursday.

Keep warm and keep safe dear ones. I will be thinking of you.
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Retired and loving it. If I'd have known about retirement befor I started my 40 year career with the government of Manitoba I'd have retired first. :)Ah

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