An intense, fast moving low pressure system and strong cold front swept across Saskatchewan through the night bringing damaging wind gusts across the province.
The highest gust recorded was 131 km/h at Moose Jaw shortly before 10 pm CST – a new record for the month of October – besting the old record of 119 km/h on October 16th, 1991.
Jason Knight with Environment Canada says this system was quite intense.
“We had a very intense low-pressure system. It just came flying in off the west coast,” Knight said. “It’s already moving into Manitoba. And the sytem of this strength and the speed it’s moving is producing some damaging wind gusts across the province.”
Knight says wind records were broken for this time of the year.
“Our highest gusts is 131 km/hr at Moose Jaw, shortly before 10:00 P.M.,” Knight said. “That’s a new record for October. Although many other cities and sites in Saskatchewan were also quite high. Swift Current had 124 km/hr. Regina at 119. Saskatoon at 113.”
Knight says this type of weather system at this time of the year is quite unusual.
“This is what we call a Varied Zonal Flow,” Knight said. “Basically, the system is moving very quickly from west to east. And normally, systems of this intensity don’t develop in that sort of flow. Normally, the jet stream is sort of meandering from north to south. But the combination of this speed and the way the system is moving to the east simply added to the force of the winds moving across the province.”
Knight says the wind will die down through the morning as the system moves into Manitoba.
- Downed power lines & infrastructure damage; SaskPower kept busy with windstorm
- UPDATED: Wildfires under control in southwest Saskatchewan; some residents allowed to return
Rural schools affected by storm
Burstall School, Leader Composite School and Haven Colony School will be closed Wednesday, October 18, until further notice.
Fox Valley School will remain open for students to attend, although classes will be cancelled for the day.
For schools that remain open in nearby communities, bus routes may be affected in areas where evacuation orders and alerts are in place.
Drivers of those routes will contact families if their bus service is cancelled as per standard procedure.
Trees broken, street signs felled as Regina endures autumn wind storm
Extreme winds caused power outages and fires across southern Saskatchewan overnight.
The most significant is the wildfire which ignited late Tuesday in the southwest corner, affecting several towns, including Burstall and Leader.
SaskPower reports outages in Regina as trees were felled, branches strewn across the streets and street signs anchored to the ground, uprooted.
Saskatoon also experienced some power outages as well as communities across the southern region. Power to the Cypress Hills region was cut off for safety reasons.
SaskPower says it’s been on call throughout the night dealing with outages during the wind storm.
People are reminded to stay away from downed lines and have an outage kit ready to go in the event of a lengthy outage.
Rural school divisions in southwest areas also announced through social media classes would be cancelled until further notice.
At least two departing flights at Regina International Airport have been delayed and travellers are urged to check their flights before travel.
Motorists should check with Highway Hotline to ensure there are no major road hazards.
Records broken in Saskatchewan during wind storm
Summary of maximum wind gusts in kilometres per hour:
Moose Jaw 131
Swift Current 124
Bratts Lake 124
Regina Airport 119
Lucky Lake 117
Saskatoon Airport 113
Eastend Cypress 104
Rosetown East 102
Hudson Bay 100
Maple Creek 100
Val Marie 100
Yellow Grass 96
Last Mountain 96
Cypress Hills Park 96
Indian Head 96
North Battleford 94
Watrous East 94
Meadow Lake 89
Prince Albert 89