Estevan has eclipsed its March snowfall record, thanks in large part to three winter storms that have blasted the region.
According to Environment Canada's reporting station at the Estevan Airport, Estevan has received 48.4 centimetres of snow through March 18. The previous record was 47.9 centimetres in 1955.
March had an auspicious start, as a system on March 3 and 4 dumped 18.2 centimetres of snow on the city. But the bulk of the snow came during Alberta clippers that struck the southern half of the province in a three-day span.
The first, on March 15, brought about 10 centimetres to the city. After a reprieve on March 16, Estevan received another 13.4 centimetres on March 17 and 18.
The cumulative snowfall, blowing snow and near-zero visibility created treacherous driving conditions on city streets and on southeast highways. Most highways in the region had "travel not recommended" advisories on March 15 and 17. They were reporting snow drifts, icy or slippery sections and winter conditions after the storm had cleared.
By March 19, most highways were reporting "good winter driving" conditions.
Local snow removal contractors have been busy clearing snow from business parking lots and from city streets. The City of Estevan opted to clear Priority 1 and 2 streets in the days following the storm. City manager Jim Puffalt said they would also clear snow from any trouble spots in the city.
The storms also forced the cancellation of a number of events, including the After Dark/After Hours concert with the Dustin Ritter Band on March 15 at the Estevan Art Gallery and Museum and Eddie Webster's, and the Rider Pride Hockey Challenge on March 17 at Spectra Place.
The hockey challenge would have pitted members of the Saskatchewan Roughriders against local celebrities in a charity hockey game for local football programs.
A cold snap followed the March 17 storm, as temperatures were up to 10 degrees below normal for the daytime high and the nighttime low. The cold snap was expected to persist until at least March 22.