Severe Winter Weather

Saskatchewan is no stranger to some wild winter weather.  With temperatures reaching -40°C, blowing snow causing whiteouts, and Alberta Clippers that bring piles of snow, we all need to be prepared for the winter.  Winter weather can cause a very complex array of hazards such as exposure to cold temperatures from power outages, poor visibility and black ice causing collisions, and frozen pipes creating loss of service and flooding.


One of the many issues a blizzard can cause is poor visibility (a.k.a. whiteout). Be mindful of current conditions by checking the Highway Hotline at

Wherever possible, avoid traveling during whiteout conditions. That decision could be the difference between life and death.

Always be mindful of snow accumulation. Heavy snowfall combined with drifting snow can quickly build up causing a vehicle to get stuck or a roof to collapse. 120 cm of fresh snow, 30 cm of packed snow, or 10 cm of ice could cause a good roof to collapse. Even less accumulation is needed on a flat roof. Watch for signs of too much weight such as sagging ceiling tiles, pooping/cracking noises, stuck/stubborn windows and doors, cracks or leaks in walls and the roof.

Freezing Rain

Ice accumulation can happen fast under the right conditions. Whether you are driving, walking, or staying at home, be sure to regularly check build up of ice to prevent damage, structural collapse, or slippery conditions.

Did you know that 1 square foot of ice an inch thick can weigh 5 pounds? That add up fast when combined with snow and water.

See Tips for Safe Driving to learn more about driving in these conditions.

Extreme Cold

In Southern Saskatchewan, Extreme Cold Warnings are issued when the temperatures or wind chill value is expected to reach -40oC for at least two hours.

Prepare ahead of time: be on the lookout for Extreme Cold Weather Warnings by following:

  • Local weather reports
  • Warnings from Environment Canada

Be prepared:

  • Dress warmly in layers and wear a wind resistant outer layer
  • Stay dry and change out of wet clothing as quickly as possible
  • Keep moving (especially your hands and feet) to keep your blood flowing and maintain your body heat.
  • If you are caught outside in extreme cold conditions, look for shelter out of the wind and keep moving to maintain your body heat
  • Prepare your home by doing regular maintenance. Make sure your heating system is working efficiently and seal all cracks and drafts to keep the heat in
  • Avoid alcohol (consuming alcohol before you go out in the cold may increase your risk of hypothermia)
  • Watch for signs of windburn, frostbite and hypothermia
  • Seek medical attention if necessary

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