The Queen City experienced its first full taste of the 2022 winter season on Sunday, with snow falling over a vast swath of southern Saskatchewan.
According to weather statements from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) the City of Regina can expect 10 to 15 centimetres of snowfall, continuing through Sunday and lasting until Monday morning.
“By Monday, we’ll just see a few flurries in the morning and those should eventually end,” meteorologist Dan Fulton explained.
“Accompanying the snow, fairly brisk northeast winds are making things even a bit more miserable. [So, an] early taste of winter there for the Regina area.”
ECCC advised drivers in the Regina area to be wary of decreased visibility while travelling through the snowfall.
TRAVEL NOT RECOMMENDED
The Saskatchewan Highway Hotline issued alerts across southern Saskatchewan, warning of icy, slippery and wet conditions on highways ranging from the Alberta to Manitoba borders.
Environment Canada issued snowfall warnings covering most of southern Saskatchewan on Oct. 23, 2022. As a result, the Highway Hotline is not recommending travel on many major roadways, including stretches of Highway 1. (Source: Highway Hotline)
At 11 a.m. on Oct. 23, the Highway Hotline reported that Highway 1 east of Regina and Highway 6 to the south were both subject to winter conditions with icy and slippery sections mixed with wet sections subject to freezing.
Weather conditions west of Regina on Highway 1, northwest on Highway 11 as well as northeast on Highway 10 were reported as worsening. The Highway Hotline advised that travel was not recommended due to slush, drifting snow and reduced visibility.
The “travel not recommended” warning ranged from Regina’s western city limits to the town of Chaplin on Highway 1. The warning also ranged from Balgonie to Wolseley in the east. On Highway 11, the travel advisory extended all the way past Lumsden towards Bethune. On Highway 10, the warning extended to Fort Qu’Appelle and its surrounding area.
As of 12:30 p.m., Highway 1, as well as Highway 2 near Moose Jaw were closed due to zero visibility, slush, and drifting snow.
The Highway Hotline updated the status of highways immediately surrounding Regina at 3 p.m. Travel is still not recommended on Highway 11 and Highway 10 north of Regina.
Wet conditions subject to freezing were still recorded on Highway 6 and Highway 1.
At 4:30 p.m., the list of closed highways grew in the southern portions of the province. Highway 11 from Lumsden to Chamberlain was reported as being closed due to zero visibility, ice, and slush covering the roadway.
At 5:20 p.m. the closure of Highway 1 was extended from Chaplin to Swift Current.
“We’re always in a state of readiness,” director of communications for the Highway Hotline, David Horth, told CTV News. “That’s in terms of salt and that’s in terms of equipment, and that’s in terms of shifting so we are we are always ready for winter.”
Horth expressed that in times of questionable weather, drivers should always consult the hotline before getting on the road.
“My number one piece of advice to you to anyone is check the hotline before you go,” he said. “If it doesn’t look that promising, just wait a few hours. The weather always changes in Saskatchewan.”
Up to date information about the latest road conditions in the province can be found here.
The Regina Police Service (RPS) released an advisory Sunday morning, reminding drivers in the Queen City to adopt good winter driving habits with the arrival of the season’s first snow.
The habits listed by Regina police included:
- Reduce speed on most roadways.
- Allow for more stopping distance and apply your brakes carefully.
- Give more room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
- Give yourself more time to reach your destination.
- Make sure to clear all snow off of your vehicle.
- Be informed, check weather forecasts and the highway hotline before embarking on a trip. If conditions deteriorate, stay where you are.
RPS reported that officers had responded to “a number of minor vehicle collisions and vehicles sliding off of roads and into ditches” prior to sending out its advisory.
However, there were no reports of injuries connected to these incidents, RPS said.
The Moose Jaw Police Service reported that the department was dealing with a “high-volume call load” in response to weather conditions.
According to a Sunday afternoon news release, MJ police responded to an influx of collisions, jack-knifed semi units and vehicles in the ditch on Highway 1 and within Moose Jaw’s city limits.