The “historic” snowstorm ends

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A blizzard that hit southeast Saskatchewan is slowly starting to die down, according to Environment Canada.

After Estevan was bombarded with heavy snowfall all day Wednesday, regional meteorologist Terri Lang says the system is slowing its eastward track in northwestern Ontario, despite light snow that falls again in the city.

“Most of the snow has dissipated,” Lang said, adding that the wind is still creating blowing snow and Estevan could still see up to five centimeters more during the day Thursday. “But for the most part the storm weakened and moved into northwestern Ontario.”

Although Environment Canada no longer officially measures snow in Estevan, its best estimate is that the town has received between 30 and 40 centimeters since Tuesday evening. If true, it would only be the third time since 1902 that the city has received more than 30 centimeters this late in the spring. The city got 38 centimeters in 1909 and 35 centimeters in 1950, according to data from Environment Canada.

“Based on the southeast corner of our province, you know, it was a historic storm that way,” Lang said. “And probably in that southwest corner of Manitoba…they probably have something to say about that as well.”

A barely visible car in an Estevan parking lot. (Photo credit: Nolan Kowal)

Lang said it was a North America-wide event.

“There have been tornadoes in Texas for the past few days…it’s all part of the same weather system,” she said. “So we have heavy snow here and there are tornadoes there, but that kind of tells you how big the system is and where the air associated with it is coming from, and that’s the gulf. of Mexico with that cold arctic air to the north.”

“When you combine those two, that’s when you get kind of these blowout Colorado lows that give these really heavy snowfalls.”

With the worst of the storm over, Lang said travel conditions are expected to improve significantly on Friday.

“Certainly because we won’t have strong winds, it’s the strong winds that are causing the problem,” she said. “There will probably be a bit of snow blowing and that sort of thing, but nothing like what we’ve seen over the past few days.”

Estevan could still see five to eight centimeters more this weekend, but that will not be accompanied by strong winds.

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