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Parts of Sask. could see up to 30 centimetres of snow, dangerous driving conditions: ECCC

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Winter weather seemed to be in the rear view mirror for Saskatchewan the past couple weeks, but now Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is forecasting as much as 30 centimetres of snow for some parts of the province.

Rainfall on Tuesday and Wednesday is expected to turn into wet snow before Thursday morning for a large portion of Saskatchewan, according to ECCC’s forecast late Tuesday morning.

Gusty winds up to 80 kilometres per hour in the southern part of the province combined with temperatures near the freezing mark with snowfall are also expected to make road conditions hazardous, according to meteorologist Terri Lang.

“It’s going to stick and it’s going to freeze and melt, so it’s going to be a mess trying to drive on Wednesday,” Lang advised, reminding drivers to check the Highway Hotline if they have to travel.

Lang added that snowfall totals will be extremely hard to measure due to melting on ground contact, but are expected to be highest in the east-central and northeastern portions of the province.

“Right now, it looks like the bulk of the snow will fall through east-central Saskatchewan,” Lang said.

“It’s possible to get upwards of 30 centimetres of snow [in that area],” she explained.

Lang said the system is neither Montana Low nor Colorado Low but referred to it in layman’s terms as a Colorado hybrid system that is going to affect most of Saskatchewan.

“What’s happening is we’re getting a feed of moisture from southern plains in the U.S. and then we’re getting a weather system moving through that’s going to suck down cold air from further north,” she said.

“So when you have cold air coming in it’s going to undercut warm air that’s riding overtop and that creates the recipe for wet snow," Lang added. 

Conditions will continue to be blustery throughout the day Thursday before improving for Friday, Lang said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Special Weather Statements are in effect for northeastern Saskatchewan. Those have been upgraded to Snowfall Warnings for Wednesday. 

Current statements, watches and warnings can be read here.

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