UPDATE: Environment Canada adds Fort Qu’Appelle, Indian Head, Lumsden, Pilot Butte, Yorkton, Melville and Esterhazy to Christmas Day winter storm watch. The weather agency is suggesting people avoid travelling, if possible, on Sunday.
It will certainly be a white Christmas across southeastern Saskatchewan this weekend, as Environment Canada has issued a winter storm watch for most of the region.
The worst of the storm will hit Christmas Day (Sunday) in the late afternoon and overnight into Boxing Day (Monday).
Mike Russo, Environment Canada meteorologist, said Saskatchewanians can expect between 15 to 25 centimetres of snow over the weekend.
The heaviest amount of snow will hit the southeastern corner of the province, including: Estevan, Weyburn, Oxbow and Moosomin areas.
Regina is expected to get some of the white stuff too; Russo said the Queen City can expect five centimetres Saturday night and another five on Christmas Day.
However, Russo said snow isn’t the only factor adding to the winter storm watch; strong winds are also on their way.
He said northern winds from 30 to 40 kilometres per hour are in the forecast, gusting to about 50 to 60 kilometres per hour at times, which could reduce visibility down to less than 400 metres.
Russo suggested people travelling to Manitoba over the weekend be careful on the highways, since conditions get progressively worse closer to the Manitoba border.
On the other hand, he said travel conditions out westward towards Alberta are looking clear.
However, Russo does have one tidbit of advice for all holiday travelers:
“If you’re going to be doing any travelling (this weekend), the earlier the better,” said Russo. “(Saturday) would be the best day to do your travelling because once you get into Christmas Day — particularly in the the southeastern areas of the province — that’s when the heavy snow will hit.”
By Boxing Day, Russo predicts the winter weather to be on its way out.
Environment Canada is reminding those travelling to have a full tank of gas, pack a travel kit with water, food, blankets and warm clothing, in case of emergencies.
Before heading out on your holiday travels, be sure to check the province’s Highway Hotline for your route’s road conditions.
WINTER STORM WATCH ISSUED FOR: