Sunday, February 11, 2018

Brief mid week warm up.. but generally below normal this week and next. Snow drought continues..

It's been a cold start to February across southern Manitoba, and it looks like the cold weather will persist through much of this week and next. There will be some brief warmups from time to time (such as this Wednesday), but overall, it looks like a below normal temperature pattern is expected across the Prairies through next week. As of Feb 10th, the average temperature at YWG airport has been -21.4C, about 6C below average for the first 10 days of the month.  It's been the 3rd coldest start to February in the past 20 years (only Feb 2007 and 2014 had colder starts) 

As for this week, it will be another cold start to the work week as temperatures drop to the -30C mark early Monday with winds of 10-15 km/h producing windchills near -40.  Highs of -16C are expected by afternoon, about 6C below the average high of -10C for this time of year. Temperatures will moderate to -5C by Tuesday but gusty SW winds of 30-50 km/h will make it feel colder. On Wednesday, a clipper system will track through the MB interlake area bringing a brief warmup to southern MB, with highs rising close to the freezing mark in Winnipeg by Wednesday afternoon. The mild spell will be short lived however as a trailing cold front pushes through in the afternoon, sending temperatures falling as strong northerly winds develop. Some snow and blowing snow will likely develop as well Wednesday afternoon and evening as the colder air spreads in. This will lead into another few days of colder than normal weather to end the week Thursday and Friday. Temperatures are expected to moderate again next weekend, but again, the warmup looks short lived as colder weather returns for the third week of February. 

Precipitation-wise, new snowfall looks minimal again across southern MB. There may be a bit of snow with the Arctic front Wednesday (tr - 2 cm) but other than that, no significant precipitation is expected over southern MB through next weekend. As of Feb 10th, Winnipeg has seen only 52.8 cm of snow this winter.. its lowest snowfall to this point in the winter since the winter of 2011-12 (48 cm to Feb 10th) and the 2nd least snowfall to Feb 10th in at least 20 years. (On average, Winnipeg gets about 76 cm of snow by Feb 10th). Last winter, Winnipeg had seen 121 cm of snow by Feb 10th - over twice the amount this season - thanks in large part to the snowiest December in 58 years.  The meager snowfall this winter has boosted the city of Winnipeg's 2017 municipal budget surplus by another $6 million thanks to less than projected snowclearing operations.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Get ready for a wintery blast Tuesday! Strong winds and snow with blowing snow and poor visibilities on the way for Winnipeg and RRV

Intense clipper system will be tracking across central MB
Tuesday bring snow, strong winds to much of the province.
Winds/blowing snow will be the main issue for RRV
An intense clipper system will be tracking across Manitoba Tuesday bringing strong winds and snow to much of the province. Here in Winnipeg and the Red River valley, winds will be the main story rather than snowfall Tuesday, especially through the midday and afternoon hours when southerly winds will be howling up the valley gusting to 70 or even 80 km/h. These winds, combined with loose and falling snow, will lead to widespread blowing and drifting snow with poor to blizzard-like conditions in the open country. Keep this in mind if you plan on being on the roads tomorrow. Snowfall amounts with this system will be highest over the Interlake and central MB, where 10-20 cm of snow is possible.. while amounts here in Winnipeg and the RRV will be in the 5 cm range. Snowfall amounts however will be impossible to measure accurately as winds will be so strong here in the RRV, with extensive drifting. Winds shift into the NW behind the system by Tuesday evening, with gusts of 60-70 kmh at times bringing colder temperatures for the rest of the week. 

Monday, January 08, 2018

One more mild day Tuesday, then colder weather pushes in Wednesday with gusty winds and some snow

Weather map for noon Wednesday shows southern  MB
in cold northerly flow behind an Arctic cold front 
Above normal temperatures will continue across southern Manitoba Tuesday as a southeast flow sends temperatures up to the freezing mark by Tuesday afternoon across the RRV including Winnipeg. The mild weather will persist Tuesday night into early Wednesday before a sharp Arctic cold front pushes through the RRV Wednesday morning, shifting winds into the north and sending temperatures falling through the day. In addition, the cold front will be accompanied by a band of snow as it pushes through, with 1-3 cm possible through midday. The gusty north winds will also lead to blowing and drifting snow especially outside the city, with a period of poor visibilities likely as the band of snow pushes through. Driving conditions will likely become poor for a few hours Wednesday across the RRV so be prepared for a return to wintery conditions if you're out and about. Temperatures near -5C early Wednesday in Winnipeg will plummet to -12C by noon, and -18C by 5 pm, so be prepared for a much colder commute home.  Cold but dry weather is expected for the remainder of the week into the weekend. 

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Coldest final week of December in over 80 years. Frigid weather eases as we head into January

It was a frigid end to December over much of the continent, including throughout the Prairies and southern Manitoba. In Winnipeg, the final week of the month averaged a bone-chilling -27.7C, the coldest final week of December since 1933, and the 4th coldest since records began in 1872. 

The frigid finish to December was in stark contrast to the first 3 weeks of the month which were milder than normal. In fact, through Dec 23rd, December was averaging about 3C above normal (-10C vs -13C)  But that all changed by Christmas Eve as frigid temperatures moved in for the holidays with temperatures averaging over 10C below normal between Christmas and New Year's Eve. As a result, December ended up about 1.5C below normal in Winnipeg with a mean temperature of -14.8C  (vs the December "normal" of -13.2C)  

December 2017 in Winnipeg. Very cold finish
spoiled an otherwise mild month  
Luckily, the massive Arctic airmass that has plagued much of North America over the past week has retreated for the beginning of January with temperatures rising to normal values in southern MB, and even above freezing in Alberta, which had seen temperatures of -40C just a couple days ago. Colder weather will prevail through this week (but not like last week), before another moderating trend sets in next weekend with temperatures near or above normal over southern Manitoba. Seasonably cold weather is expected next week.  Mid January marks the coldest time of the year on average in southern MB with normal highs of -13C and lows of -23C for Winnipeg. Daily averages slowly climb through the latter half of January rising 2C by Feb 1st.  

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Mild weather continues Monday.. then turning colder this week with coldest airmass of the season moving in by Christmas

The relatively mild weather over the first half of December across southern MB will continue for one more day Monday, before significantly colder weather moves in this week. Even colder weather is expected by next weekend as the coldest airmass of the season so far pushes in across the Prairies for the Christmas holidays.

Temperature forecast for Winnipeg over next 10 days shows cold trend
setting in this week, with temperatures near -30C possible by Christmas
(graphic from

In the short term, a westerly push of mild air will sweep across southern Manitoba Monday pushing temperatures up to the 0 to +1C mark over southern Manitoba, including Winnipeg. There may be some wet snow pushing across areas south of the TransCanada highway to the US border Monday morning through midday as a weak disturbance pushes through. In the wake of this system colder air will move into southern MB for Tuesday with temperatures dropping to the -10C mark by late afternoon. This will be the start of a period of much colder weather with temperatures near -20c expected by Wednesday morning. Highs Wednesday through Friday will only be in the minus teens with lows near -20C which is actually about average for this time of year (Normal hi -10C, low -20c)

Frigid weather expected for Christmas holidays

850 mb temperature forecast by European model for Christmas morning
shows massive Arctic vortex pushing across Manitoba with temps near -30C
(graphic from
Unfortunately, things look to get even colder by next weekend just in time for Christmas as a massive push of Arctic air plunges south ushering in the coldest airmass of the season so far into southern Manitoba. This will bring daytime temperatures only in the minus 20s, with overnight lows  around -30C or lower.  Windchills may push into the warning criteria of -40 or lower at times over the Christmas holidays. Weatherwise, it looks mainly dry with no major storms or snowfall expected over the holidays with Arctic high pressure in place, so travel conditions should be okay across southern Manitoba. Otherwise, be prepared for frigid weather as you make your holiday plans!

Forecast temperatures Christmas morning shows widespread temps
of -30 to -35C across much of Manitoba with local -40C possible

(graphic from
Surface map for Christmas morning shows massive Arctic high (1062 mb!)
over southern Saskatchewan driving frigid Arctic air across Manitoba
(graphic from