Sunday, December 31, 2006

Tranquil December ends with heavy snow

It seems like Mother Nature saved all of her December snow for the very end. A steady snow began in Winnipeg on Saturday the 30th around 3 pm, and continued through the night moderate to heavy at times before ending by 8 am Sunday morning the 31st. By the time it was over, some 25 to 30 cm of snow had fallen in the Winnipeg area.. with 29 cm at my location in Charleswood, and 32 cm at Winnipeg airport. Up until this storm, snow had been virtually absent this month in Winnipeg with some very minor snowfalls during the first half of the month totalling about 4 to 8 cm (7.8 cm at my location) In fact, prior to this snowfall, no snow was recorded at all in the city after the 16th. The snow will be welcome news for snowmobilers and snow enthusiasts who have been frustrated with a very meager snow season so far this year. Average December snowfall in Winnipeg is 20 cm, so this December will end up snowier than average.. a misleading statistic due to this one heavy snowfall at the very end of the month.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

EC now calling for mild December..

The latest 30 day outlooks were issued yesterday, and not surprisingly, EC has done a complete 180 in its December outlook. The forecast now calls for above normal temperatures for much of the country, a complete reversal from its below normal outlook issued two weeks ago (see Robs blog entry from Dec 4) This outlook is now consistent with CPC's December outlook from the U.S. which had been calling for above normal temperatures over the Prairies this month, and maintains this outlook in its latest update. And judging by the way the weather pattern has been this past week, and the week ahead.. it appears that the above normal forecast is going to work out.

It appears that EC's 30 day outlooks are heavily influenced by current weather patterns (i.e. persistence). Note that EC's below normal outlook two weeks ago was issued during a period of below normal temperatures across the Prairies. Now that's its mild everywhere, the outlook is above normal. It'll be interesting to see if this correlation holds for January's outlook in two weeks. (30 day outlooks are updated every two weeks)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A little snow Friday.. a little colder for the weekend

That big Pacific storm system that will be crashing into west coast today will track across the Prairies on Friday, albeit in a weaker form, bringing an area of snow across SK and MB. Over southern MB, the snow should spread in from the west during the morning reaching Winnipeg by afternoon. Most of the snow should fall along and north of the Yellowhead Highway through the Riding Mountain and Interlake areas into central MB where 5 to 10 cm is possible. Here in Winnipeg and the Red River valley, snowfall will likely be less.. perhaps 2 to 4 cm through the afternoon hours with even a chance of some mixed precipitation (rain/freezing rain) in some places. Slightly colder temperatures will follow in the wake of this system for the weekend, but temperatures are only expected to drop to "normal" values for this time of year with highs around minus 10. (It'll actually be nice to wash those cars and keep them clean for more than a day!) The colder weather however is not expected to last long as another surge of mild Pacific air is forecast to move over southern MB by the middle of next week.

Monday, December 11, 2006

A mild week ahead..

The above normal temperatures will continue over southern Mb this week as a mild Pacific flow dominates over the Prairies. This will mean daily temperatures near the freezing mark and more of those messy roads and melting snow (stock up on that windshield fluid!) The mild temperatures are nice.. but some of those Winnipeg side roads are becoming a real mess with all that unplowed snow getting pretty thick in spots due to compaction and rutting. A grader pass or two sure would be nice right about now!

By the end of the week, a couple of weather systems tracking through the Prairies threatens to bring some snow to Winnipeg by Thursday and Friday. However at this point, it appears that the bulk of the snow with each of these systems will be mainly north of Winnipeg through the Interlake and central MB areas, with minor amounts over the south. Slightly colder temperatures are expected next weekend in the wake of these systems but at this point, a change to a prolonged period of cold weather is not anticipated. In fact, long range guidance from CPC indicates above normal temperatures over southern MB leading up to Christmas.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Rob's Obs update

Sat Dec 9: Current data from my station will not be updating for awhile today as I go through some PC maintenance. Hopefully, it will be back online this afternoon. In the meantime, you can check out the Pacific Junction (PJ) school weather station in Charleswood for current weather data.

Update: Back online as of 3 pm.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Major warmup by Friday

If you didn't like our recent cold wind chills, there's good news in the forecast. A major push of mild Pacific air is forecast to sweep across the Prairies over the next couple of days, reaching Winnipeg by Friday. Gusty southerly winds will begin to push the cold air out on Thursday, although the brisk winds and departing cold air will still make for one more cold day. Noticably milder conditions will move in on Friday with temperatures possibly approaching the melting point. The mild conditions should continue over the weekend, especially Saturday when temperatures should rise above zero over much of Southern MB.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Dec 2006 Outlook

Quite the opposing views on what kind of December we'll have according to the latest 30 day outlooks from Canada (EC) and the US (CPC). According to EC, temperatures across Manitoba, and much of Canada, are forecast to be below normal this December (top image) In contrast, CPC is forecasting a better than even chance of above normal temperatures this December over the eastern Prairies(bottom image)

Who's right? Maybe neither.. It could end up somewhere in between. Correlations with past weak El Nino years suggest that December and January are generally milder than normal here in Manitoba.. but that's not always the case. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see.. and cross our fingers that the Americans are right!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Snow moving in this evening

An area of light to moderate snow was moving into southern MB from the west, with the leading edge of the main snow band around Portage La Prairie as of 5:30 pm. Brandon picked up a quick 2 cm of snow in the late afternoon as the snow band moved through. The area of snow was moving towards Winnipeg at 50 km/h, and should move into the city from the west by 6:30-7 pm. Visibilities will drop to 1 km or less at times in moderate snow, and gusty southerly winds in the Red River valley could give visibility of 300 m or less at times in snow and blowing snow. The snow should end by midnight but then gusty northwest winds behind this sytem will give locally poor visbilities again in blowing snow especially in open areas. Caution if on the roads tonight..

C-C-Cold morning

Coldest morning of the season so far with a low of -29C at Winnipeg airport, -27c at my site. Temperatures were down to -30 or lower in some places over Southern MB this morning. At least there wasn't much of a wind.. but that will change this afternoon as southerly winds start to pick up. That will produce a noticeable windchill this afternoon into this evening with southerly winds of 30 to 50 km/h combining with temperatures near -18c to produce windchills around the minus 30 mark. Bundle up! Those southerly winds are ahead of a trough of low pressure approaching Southern MB that will bring a couple cm of snow tonight. That could result in some slick driving conditions overnight into Monday morning. (It's those minor snowfalls that really slick up the roads, especially at intersections where stop and go traffic compresses the minor coating of snow into ice.. )

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Storm Total

Official snowfall total here in Charleswood... 15 cm, including 9 cm between noon and 3 pm. Snow stopped around 3:30 pm. Sure looks a lot more Christmassy around here now!

Winter Storm update 3

Snow continues to fall moderate to heavy at times this afternoon in Winnipeg with another 4 or 5 cm since noon, and about 10 or 11 cm since the snow started. Radar shows the bulk of the snow should be moving out of Winnipeg by 3:30 or 4 pm as this storm system moves off to the northeast. By then we'll be close to 15 cm of snow by the time it's all over. Roads are a mess across Winnipeg and Southern Manitoba.. expect a SLOW commute wherever you go.

Winter Storm Update 2

Wow.. radar has really filled in from Winnipeg south, with solid precipitation all the way down to Grand Forks. This means it will be snowing moderately to heavy in Winnipeg all afternoon, perhaps 2-3 cm per hour, so it looks like Winnipeg will end up with about 15 cm of snow by evening.. perhaps up to 20 cm in some areas. (As of noon, I've had about 6 cm so far) Snow should taper off this evening.

Winter Storm Update

I've had about 3-4 cm of snow here in Charleswood this morning as of 9 am mixed in with some ice pellets. Radar shows most of the snow is moving north of Winnipeg, but there's still some more snow and possible freezing rain to the south that will continue to affect us through the day. Overall, it looks like Winnipeg will escape the worst of the storm with snowfall totals approaching 10 cm by evening. Further north and west though (Dauphin area, Interlake) , snowfalls will easily reach 15 or 20 cm with locally higher amounts likely.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Light snow tonight.. winter storm possible Tuesday.

Looks like a little of the white stuff will be moving into Winnipeg overnight, with a couple of cm possible by morning. That will move out Sunday, but then a significant storm system is forecast to develop over Colorado/Wyoming area Monday and move northeastward into Northwestern Ontario by late Tuesday. This storm could bring significant snow to Winnipeg and Southern Manitoba on Tuesday.. perhaps 15 to 20 cm or more, along with increasing northerly winds that could give near blizzard conditions by Tuesday evening. This one bears watching.. it could be a doozy! Stay tuned..

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Record warm day signals end of mild spell..

The unseasonably mild weather of the past few days peaked over Winnipeg and the Red River valley today when temperatures soared to record breaking values for Nov 22nd. In Winnipeg, the official high of 12.4C broke the previous record for the day of 9.7C set back in 1998, and also marked the latest date of reaching double digits in November. (prev record Nov 21 1904 11.1c) Further south, Emerson was the national hot spot with a high of 14.9C. Unfortunately the record breaking mild weather will be coming to an abrupt end as much colder weather moves in tonight. Snow is possible in Winnipeg by Thursday afternoon into Thursday night although it appears the bulk of the snow from this next system will be falling north of Winnipeg through the interlake and central MB areas.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Beauty day!

Wow.. what a beautiful day in Southern Manitoba. Nov 21st and we have sunny skies, light winds, no snow on the ground and temperatures up to +5C as of noon, going up to 7 or 8C this afternoon. Seems like we’re getting October in November, after getting November in October! Record high for today is 11.1C back in 1904, which by the way is the latest date in November that Winnipeg has hit double digits. See November record list. Looks like the nice weather will continue through Thursday.. then a cooldown for Friday into the weekend as a large Arctic airmass floods into the western Prairies beginning mid week. By Sunday, models are indicating much colder air flooding into southern Manitoba with temperatures likely in the minus teens. Might see some snow by Friday and Saturday as well, but at this point.. models not indciating any large amounts. We'll see.. seems like we're overdue for some snow by now..

By the way, it was kind of funny to watch all those football fans dressed up in parkas and toques for last night’s Monday night football game in Jacksonville Florida. Temperature at game time was a bone-chilling PLUS 8C! Brrrr! ;) (I know, I know.. that’s cold for Florida.. but still, it’s amazing what you get used to..)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Mild week ahead

It's going to be a mild week over Winnipeg with temperatures expected to reach above freezing values through Thursday. Monday will see gusty southerly winds up to 60 km/h pushing temperatures up to the +5c mark, under partly to mostly cloudy skies. The rest of the week should see a continuation of the mild weather, with daily highs in the +5 to +8c range.. about 10 degrees above average for this time of year. Long range models continue to show the possibility of a pattern change to colder and snowier weather by the end of the week into the weekend. Stay tuned..

Friday, November 17, 2006

Clearing today.. nice weekend ahead.

Satellite photos show nothing but sunny skies west of Winnipeg this morning, and this clearing should move into Winnipeg from the west this afternoon heralding the arrival of a fine looking weekend with sunny skies and mild temperatures..just in time for Grey Cup festivities. The sunshine will help melt the coating of ice left from last evening's freezing rain and ice pellets, leaving dry conditions for the weekend. Weather should be ideal for Sunday's Grey Cup with clear skies, light winds and afternoon highs of +5C. Game time temperatures will likely drop to the freezing mark, but with the light winds, conditions should be very comfortable for the game. The good news is that the nice weather should last much of next week before a potential change to colder and snowier weather by next weekend. Hey, it has to come sooner or later!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Updated Grey Cup forecast

Well, it's becoming virtually unanimous that the weather should be just about ideal for Sunday's Grey Cup in Winnipeg. All models are indicating dry conditions for the game, with generally clear skies and near to above freezing temperatures at game time. The only question mark is the winds.. will they be light or gusty? Earlier models were indicating the potential for strong southerly winds developing by game time Sunday evening, however the latest models now delay these strongest winds until Monday (and by then they could be very strong.. perhaps 50 to 70 km/h). As a result, winds should be fairly light for the game Sunday evening which would make conditions more comfortable for players and fans alike. The good news is that no snow is expected through Sunday so snow and ice will not be a factor to contend with.

Rob's updated Grey Cup forecast..

Mainly clear skies. No precipitation. Dry field conditions. Sunday afternoon high near +4C falling to 0C at game time. Winds light.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Grey Cup Forecast

Well, it’s looking increasingly likely that the weather should be nearly ideal for Sunday’s Grey Cup in Winnipeg. Ensemble models are indicating dry weather (no precipitation) for Sunday along with above normal temperatures, likely above freezing at game time. The only weather factor for Sunday appears to be the potential for gusty southerly winds by game time which, if they develop, will add a chill factor to the otherwise mild temperatures. The good news is that we should remain snow free through this week into the weekend, so there shouldn’t be any snow or ice on the ground to contend with. (currently there is no snow on the ground in Winnipeg and we should remain that way right through Sunday) Overall, it’s looking very good for this time of year in Winnipeg.

Rob’s Grey Cup outlook..

Partly cloudy skies, no precipitation, game time temperature near +3C remaining steady through the evening. Gusty south winds 30 to 50 km/h. Wind chill -2C.

I will update this forecast as the week goes on with any new information that becomes available.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Snow free all week?

Well it looks like the system that was threatening snow for us by Tuesday is going to track further north, bringing accumulating snow to central MB and not much south. The storm track has been bringing most systems and snowfall through central MB over the past week, and it looks like this trend will continue this week. As result, Winnipeg may stay snow free all week, and possibly through Grey Cup weekend.  In fact, at this point, Grey Cup Sunday is looking pretty good in Winnipeg with long range ensembles pointing to a good chance of dry weather, along with temperatures of between 0 and -5c for game time.  Let's see if that forecast holds as we get closer to the weekend.

By the way, I've added links to the NAEPS ensemble map products recently added to EC's weatheroffice page. This is a joint forecast system between Canada, the US and Mexico to come up with more accurate (or perhaps less inaccurate is a better way of saying it) and more consistent long range forecasts over North America. They have some interesting products and charts which may provide a little more insight into how the weather may (or may not) evolve over the next couple of weeks.  These EPS product links are found under Rob's Obs "maps" and "forecasts"  drop down menus.   

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It's gone! (for now..)

After three days of mild weather, plus some rain and drizzle, the 10-15 cm pre-Halloween snowfall has pretty much disappeared in Winnipeg.  Generally, a 10 cm snow base at the end of October stays for the winter, however three days of above freezing temperatures (including staying above freezing at night) has given us a reprieve from the permanent snow cover and icy roads.  No significant accumulating snow is expected in the Winnipeg area over the next few days and through the weekend, but then some long range models are indicating the potential for an Alberta clipper system bringing some accumulating snow to Southern MB by next Tuesday or Wednesday.  So enjoy the sight of those bare lawns while you can.. It's only a matter of time before they disappear again!   

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Melting away..

Ahhh.. feels just like spring out there today.. +5C and snow melting everywhere.. Note those 10-13C temperatures in Saskatchewan this afternoon.  We should stay mild through Wednesday before cooling off a little by the end of the week. Maybe this early snowfall will melt away after all!!  (although we probably would need some rain to get rid of it completely..) 

Friday, November 03, 2006

Warm up next week..

Models are indicating a break in the cold weather that has persisted over the eastern Prairies over the past few days.  In fact, Winnipeg has been below freezing since midnight of Oct 30th,  5 straight days below freezing!  (normal highs are still around +4C for early November)  


Relief is expected beginning this weekend as a more zonal flow overspreads the Prairies, bringing in milder Pacific air from the west. In fact, temperatures in southern AB are forecast to hit 20c by Monday!  In Winnipeg, this will finally mean temperatures climbing above the freezing mark by Sunday, and around 5 or 6c by Tuesday.  (EC currently forecasting +10C for Tuesday.. but that appears a bit optimistic given the snowcover still on the ground.)  Hopefully the mild temperatures will be enough to significantly reduce the snowcover that has arrived a little too early in Winnipeg this year!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006



One can say that Winnipeg transitioned from summer through fall into winter during October 2006, all within 4 short weeks. The month began on a sunny and warm note with temperatures soaring to a balmy 27C on the 1st. The first week of October was mild with temperatures in the mid to upper teens, and generally sunny skies. The transition to fall occurred over the Thanksgiving weekend, when a warm start to the holiday of 24C on the Saturday (8th) plunged to the low teens by Sunday and Monday. That would be the end of 20 degree temperatures in Winnipeg, and in fact, temperatures struggled to even reach double digits most of the remainder of the month as a below normal temperature pattern finally became established over the eastern Prairies... the first time since May that a prolonged stretch of below normal temperature had occurred in Winnipeg. The cold unsettled weather brought the season's first snowfall to the city on the 10th when rain changed to wet snow in the afternoon giving 1 or 2 cm accumulation. A deep low pressure system over Northwestern Ontario brought strong northwesterly winds to Southern Manitoba on the night of the 12th into the 13th, with wind gusts to 80 km/h producing window damage in downtown Winnipeg. Generally cool and unsettled conditions continued through the 23rd with occasional minor snowfalls before a couple of mild pleasant late fall days from the 25th to 27th. That would prove to be the last of the pleasant fall weather however as a storm system over North Dakota brought the season's first significant snowfall to Southern Manitoba on the 30th with 10 to 15 cm of snow in the Winnipeg area. This resulted in the deepest snowcover for Halloween in many years.. likely since 1972.

Overall the month averaged about 1.2 degrees below normal at my location (1.8 degrees below at Winnipeg airport) marking the first below normal calendar month this year since February. Precipitation totaled 27 mm at my location.. with 8 mm of rain and 19 cm of snow. Average October precipitation in Winnipeg is about 31 mm of rain and 5 cm of snow.. so rainfall this month was well below normal (again) while snowfall was well above. Overall, the monthly total precipitation of 27 mm was again below normal for the month, marking the 7th consecutive month with below normal precipitation in Winnipeg.

All in all.. a cool unsettled month ending with an early start to winter!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Storm snowfall

12.6 cm storm total here in Charleswood..  12 cm on the ground. Looks like our whitest Halloween here in a number of years. 

Monday, October 30, 2006

Winter Storm Update

Snow has moved into southwest MB this morning with visibilities down to 1.5 miles in snow in Brandon as of 7 am. Radar indicates heavier snow down in the Melita and Boissevain areas with visibilities likely below 1 mile. The snow should continue to spread eastward this morning reaching Portage by 8 or 9 am and then Winnipeg by late morning. Snow will increase in intensity through the afternoon in Winnipeg with about 5 cm likely by late afternoon so plan for a slow drive home after work today. I expect the heaviest snow between 3 pm and midnight in Winnipeg with total snowfalls of about 10 to 15 cm. Winds will also be increasing this afternoon into this evening from the northwest which will cause poor visibilities in snow and blowing snow, especially in open areas this evening and tonight.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Oh no.. say it ain't snow!

Oh oh.. looks like Winnipeg and Southern Mb may be looking at a white Halloween as a storm system from Montana moves over the Dakotas on Monday bringing the potential for accumulating snow Monday into Monday night across the area. Models are indicating that this storm system will intensify over North Dakota on Monday, bringing a swath of snow from southwest MB through the Red River valley and southern Interlake regions. At this point, it appears that 10 to 15 cm of snow is possible over Southern MB, with up to 20 cm over higher elevations of southwest MB such as the Turtle Mtns and Pilot Mound areas. This same storm system is producing snow across southern Alberta today including Calgary (check out the Calgary webcam today to see what we may be in for tomorrow!)

Snow from this system should start falling over southwest MB overnight into Monday morning, spreading into Winnipeg by midday Monday or early afternoon. Snow will quickly increase in intensity through the afternoon into the evening with 10 cm possible by midnight. The snow will likely begin as wet melting snow in Winnipeg initially as temperatures will be above zero by the time the snow starts, but will drop to the freezing mark as the snow intensifies. The Monday afternoon rush hour could be a sloppy slow one if this pans out. The storm should clear out by Tuesday morning, but it’s not likely that the snow will melt in time for Halloween trick or treating Tuesday evening. Get the boots ready!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Continuing cool through end of October

Those of you looking forward to a return to pleasant mild weather over Southern Manitoba will likely be disappointed over the next couple of weeks. Guidance is indicating that a large scale Artic vortex over Hudson Bay and Northern Ontario will persist through the next two weeks at least, bringing a continuation of below normal temperatures over Southern Manitoba likely through the end of October.  If this occurs, it will mark the first prolonged stretch of below normal temperatures in Winnipeg since May, an indication of how long Winnipeg and Southern Manitoba have been enjoying above normal temperatures this year. At this point, no major storms are forecast over the next week or so over Southern Manitoba, with generally dry but cool conditions. Note that our last El-Nino season in 2002-03 began with the coldest October on record in Winnipeg, but a mild December and January. Perhaps, a similar pattern is developing this year, as a large scale ridge begins to build over the west coast giving pleasant above normal conditions to BC and Alberta this fall, eventually spreading eastward over Southern Manitoba by December.   

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Strong winds this afternoon into Friday

It's going to be a windy one in Southern Manitoba over the next 24 hours as a deep low pressure system over Northwest Ontario funnels cold northwesterly winds over Manitoba.  Winds are already 48 gusting 63 km/h at Winnipeg airport as of noon, and the winds are only expected to become stronger by this evening. It's possible Winnipeg and the Red River valley may experience wind warning criteria with sustained wind speeds of 60 km/h or more by this evening through tonight into Friday with gusts to 70 or 80 km/h.  Not a pleasant way to the end the week! The good news is the weekend should see much calmer conditions as a ridge of high pressure builds into the province bringing light winds.   Unfortunately it looks like we'll be staying well below normal temperature-wise through next week. After such a beautiful stretch of above normal weather dating back to April, I guess it's payback time for Mother Nature! 

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Oct 11 Snowsqualls

Snowsqualls have developed off Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg as expected as the season's first cold snap brings in unseasonably cold air over the still warm lake waters. The lake effect bands are narrow..about 10-20 km wide.. but are likely producing local whiteout conditions underneath the bands. Both bands are oriented in a 330 direction with the Lake Manitoba band coming in between Delta Beach and St Ambroise then southeastward through Oakville to just east of Elm Creek then east of Carman. Travellers heading west from Winnipeg will run into this line on the TransCanada between Poratge La Prairie and Elie (near Hwy 13 junction), as well as on Hwy 2 between Elm Creek and Fannystelle, and Hwy 3 between Brunkild and Carman. The Lake Winnipeg band is affecting the southeast end of Lake Winnipeg including Victoria Beach to Grand Beach southeastward through Brokenhead to just east of Beausejour. These bands should stay relatively stationary which could produce local snowfalls of 20 cm or more under the more persistent bands.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It's snowing in Winnipeg!

Well, the first snow of the season is falling in Winnipeg. A cold rain started around 1:30 pm then changed to snow over the north part of the city by 2:45 pm. By 3 pm, the rain had changed to wet snow over much of the city with visibilities reduced to 1 km or less at times.  Here in Charleswood, the wet snow began at 3:09 pm.  The wet snow should end by late afternoon with 1 or 2 cm of slushy accumulation likely over grassy surfaces.

Like it or not.. the winter of 2006-07 has begun! 

Lake effect snowsqualls possible overnight and Wednesday..

The first significant lake effect event of the season will likely begin tonight as a very cold airmass sweeps over Southern Manitoba, including Lakes Manitoba and Winnipeg. The cold air moving over the 10-11C lake waters will trigger bands of lake effect snow to the south and southeast of Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba. Guidance is indicating winds of 330-340 degrees in the lowest levels with 850 temperatures of -10C to -12C. This will create very strong instability over the lakes with a lake-850 temperature differential of 20C or more. Generally, lake effect will trigger with a differential of 13C or more. The squalls will likely get going this evening initially as lake effect rainbands and then intensify overnight into snowsqualls as the colder air deepens over the lakes.

Given 330-340 degree low level steering winds, the lake effect bands will likely set up off the south end of Lake Manitoba through Elie and Fannystelle towards Brunkild. Off Lake Winnipeg, the bands will likely set up over Grand and Patricia Beaches south-southeast towards Beausejour and Vivian. (see map) These lake effect bands could be quite intense if they change into snow as expected. Near zero visibility in heavy wet snow are likely through these bands overnight through Wednesday with local accumulations of 5-10 cm per 12 hours possible. Accumulations will be less if the precipitation is mixed with rain which may be the case close to the lakes where the 11c lake water will warm the low levels enough to maintain precipitation as rain.

The orientation of the lake effect bands will depend on the exact low level wind direction. If the low level winds are more northerly (350-360 degrees), the bands will be a little more west than the map indicates. If steering winds are more northwesterly (300-320) the bands will be further east. Note that a wind of 300 degrees can bring lake effect into Winnipeg off Lake Manitoba.

Whatever the case, looks like an interesting couple of days shaping up as Mother Nature sends us an early taste of winter!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Taste of winter beginning Tuesday..

Yuck.. The coldest weather of the fall season so far will be blasting into Southern Manitoba on Tuesday as a sharp cold front moves through from the northwest during the day.  Southwest winds in the morning will shift into the northwest by afternoon, which will usher in much colder air from Northern Manitoba. Temperatures will be falling into the low single digits Tuesday afternoon with rainshowers changing to the season's first snowflurries by late afternoon or evening. There could even be some significant lake effect rain or snow bands off the south ends of Lake Winnipeg and Manitoba Tuesday night and Wednesday. The cold weather will persist through the week with cold winds and occasional flurries, a sharp change from the pleasant fall weather enjoyed up to now.  Hey, it had to come sooner or later! (although I prefer later..:) 

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What a difference a year makes!

It will be another beautiful fall day over Southern Manitoba on Thursday as sunny skies and southerly breezes push temperatures close to the 20 degree mark.  This is in sharp contrast to a year ago when Southern Manitoba was hit by the season's first snowstorm on October 5th that brought 5 to 10 cm of wet snow to Winnipeg and up to 45 cm over southwest Manitoba near Pilot Mound. (see write-up at..  No snow is in the forecast this year as the mild weather is expected to continue into Saturday before a cold front brings in cooler conditions for the remainder of the holiday weekend, but no snow.  Milder conditions are expected to move into Southern Manitoba again next week.      

Monday, October 02, 2006

September 2006 Highlights

..Warm and dry first half.. seasonable second half..

The dryness that characterized the summer of 2006 continued into the first half of September with no rain recorded for the first 15 days of the month. The dryness was also accompanied by some summerlike heat at times with temperatures near or above 30 degrees on several days, peaking at 31C on the 15th. Rain finally arrived on the weekend of Sept 16-17 with 25 to 45 mm of much needed rain in the Winnipeg area. The rest of the month was generally characterized by seasonably pleasant fall like weather with temperatures in the teens and some minor rainfalls. The growing season officially ended on the 8th at Winnipeg airport with a low of -1.3C although at my location in Charleswood the growing season didn’t end until the 28th with a low of -2.1C Overall, the month ended about a degree and a half above normal at 13.8C (normal 12.3C), the 7th consecutive month with above normal temperatures at my location. Precipitation wise, the month was again drier than normal with only 38 mm of rain during September at my location (43 mm at Winnipeg airport) compared to the normal September rainfall of 53 mm. September marks the 6th consecutive month of below normal precipitation in Winnipeg, with a precipitation deficit of 205 mm since April 1st at my location, a growing concern for agricultural interests especially if the upcoming winter snowfall is lower than normal.

Another beauty!

Another fine fall day in Winnipeg.. beautiful blue skies, light winds and temperatures near 20C by early afternoon.  EC’s forecast today “Becoming cloudy with highs of 18C”  is a bit pessimistic given the abundance of sunshine over Southern MB and temperatures already at 18C as of noon.  Sunny with cloudy periods and highs of 20C would be a better forecast for today..   

Sunday, October 01, 2006

October 1st - 27C!

Wow.. What a beautiful start to October! Under sunny skies and a nice southwest breeze, temperatures rose to a balmy 26.8C at my Charleswood station today, (26C at Winnipeg airport)... some 12C above normal for October 1st. Felt just like summer out there. Shorts and bike rides were the norm today. It was even warmer south of Winnipeg, with Morden hitting 29C today - the hottest spot in Canada! Should be nice again tomorrow, although not quite as warm.. with highs around 18-20C. Still nice for early October.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

September ends with another nice weekend..

Looks like another nice weekend in store over Winnipeg and Southern Manitoba.  (we’ve only had one wet weekend in the past 4 months!) Our morning cloudiness will give way to partly to mostly sunny skies today and nice temperatures with afternoon highs around 17C.  Tomorrow looks even nicer with sunny skies and highs of 22C predicted. (up from yesterday’s forecast high of 18C, that’s the problem with automated forecasts.. no consistency)   The only drawback with tomorrow will be brisk southerly winds in the morning of 30 gusting 50 km/h that will make those temperatures feel a bit cooler. Hopefully the winds drop off in the afternoon to make those 22c temperatures feel even nicer.  But hey, we could be doing a lot worse for October 1st!  Get out and enjoy it!      

Thursday, September 28, 2006

First killing frost

Had the season's first killing frost this morning at my place in Charleswood (and most of Winnipeg for that matter)with a low of -2.1C at 7:18 am this morning.  My weather station temperature plot shows the temperature went below freezing at 4 am, and stayed below freezing until 8:45 am.  That should do it for the outdoor plants, although my neighbours still have some nice flowering pots going.

The nice sunny morning we have will quickly fade behind thickening clouds to the west which will bring in some rain into Winnipeg by late afternoon or evening. Not expecting too much rain, maybe 2 to 5 mm, which will end overnight into Friday morning. Then it looks like a nice weekend shaping up with partly cloudy to sunny skies, and milder temperatures.. especially Sunday which will approach the 20 degree mark, a nice way to start off October!      

Friday, September 22, 2006

Nice weekend in store

After last weekend's washout, Southern Manitoba should enjoy a nice sunny and mild weekend coming up. Look for sunny skies and comfortable temperatures in the mid to upper teens.. beautiful fall like weather.  Saturday will see brisk north to northeast winds of 20 to 30 km/h that will diminish by evening. Sunday looks the nicer of the two days with light southwest winds and milder temperatures.  All in all, a fine late September weekend coming up!       

Looking further ahead, a cold front is poised to push through Southern Manitoba on Tuesday bringing in a mid week cold snap that may even produce some snowflurries over higher elevations by Tuesday night. Things should rebound again by next weekend with milder air flooding in from the west once again. 

If you're looking to golf, this weekend into Monday looks good, Tuesday and Wednesday look cold and unsettled,  Thursday should be OK after a frosty start, and then nice golf weather again Friday through Sunday of next week.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sept 16-17 Rainfall reports

The following are unofficial rainfall reports from the Winnipeg area from the weekend rains of Sep 16-17th. Moderate to heavy rain began overnight in the Winnipeg area and ended Sunday morning with general rainfall amounts of 20-30 mm recorded.. the heaviest in the downtown area. This comes on top of the 5-10 mm that fell on Saturday. This is the most significant rainfall in Winnipeg since August 12th. Apart from the Winnipeg airport and Forks sites, the following reports are all based from private weather stations in the Winnipeg area and are thus unofficial.

SEP 16-17 (UP TO 5 PM SEP 17)

--------------- SUN --- SAT -- 2day TOTAL
YWG airport... 28.0 ... 3.5 ... 31.5
Forks......... 25.6 ... 7.0 ... 32.6
Charleswood... 17.8 ... 5.3 ... 23.1 (Rob's Obs)
CHWD 2 (PJ)... 16.8 ... 4.8 ... 21.6
Whyte Ridge... 18.6 ... 6.0 ... 24.6
Fort Whyte.... 33.5 ... 5.6e .. 39.1 est
ST Vital...... 30.0 ... 5.8 ... 35.8
Ft Richmond... 24.9 ... 7.6 ... 32.5
U of M........ 22.4 ... 5.6 ... 28.0
U of W........ 31.2 ... 9.7 ... 40.9
Deer Lodge.... 37.6 ... 7.0e .. 44.6 est
East Kildonan. 27.0 ... 6.2 ... 33.2

Stonewall .... 18.3 ... 5.6 ... 23.9
Bird's Hill .. 10.6 ...12.0 ... 22.6
Tyndall ...... 19.3 ...18.3 ... 37.6
Starbuck ..... 21.1 ... 5.9 ... 27.0 (Manitoba AG WX station)

Other rainfall reports from Southern Manitoba over the past 2 days from the Manitoba agriculture and EC weather station networks.

Arborg...... 31.2 17.1 48.3
Birtle...... 34.3 1.2 35.5
Boissevain.. 18.5 1.6 20.1
Brandon..... 47.2 2.2 49.4
Carman...... 14.4 9.8 24.2
Dauphin..... 45.5 26.5 72.0
Dugald...... 13.9 14.3 28.2
Emerson..... 4.0 7.0 11.0
Eriksdale... 20.9 6.7 27.6
Ethelbert... 37.3 56.9 94.2
Fischer Br.. 35.4 23.8 69.2
Gladstone... 35.8 5.7 41.5
Grandview... 10.0 17.1 27.1
Gretna...... 4.4 9.2 13.6
Hamiota..... 34.7 2.2 36.9
Holland..... 19.4 1.6 21.0
Killarney... 16.6 1.0 17.6
McCreary.... 69.0 21.0 90.0
Melita...... 11.8 8.5 20.3
Minnedosa... 34.8 5.0 39.8
Moosehorn... 21.2 4.3 25.5
Morden...... 5.6 10.2 15.8
Morris...... 12.9 13.6 26.5
Pinawa...... 22.8 19.4 42.2
Portage..... 34.0 9.6 43.6
Roblin...... 8.8 11.4 20.2
Russell..... 6.7 2.0 8.7
Sprague..... 2.0 41.2 43.2
St Pierre... 10.6 21.0 31.6
Ste Rose.... 30.4 8.2 38.6
Selkirk..... 16.2 16.1 32.3
Shilo....... 35.6 1.1 36.7
Souris...... 28.0 1.2 29.2
Starbuck.... 21.1 5.9 27.0
Steinbach... 13.2 12.8 26.0
Swan River.. 15.4 29.4 44.8
Teulon...... 36.8 10.2 47.0
Treherne.... 22.8 1.2 24.0
Virden...... 28.4 4.6 33.0
Wasagaming.. 29.4 7.8 37.2

Saturday, September 16, 2006

It's raining in Winnipeg!

After 15 days without a drop of rain, Winnipeg and area has finally seen its first rainfall of September. Scattered light showers began around midnight Friday night, with more general showers this morning. Only about 3-4 mm of rain has fallen in Winnipeg as of noon today, but it's the most significant rain in 3 weeks. And for those wishing for rain, there's good news in the forecast as more significant rainfall is expected over Southern Manitoba overnight through Sunday as an unseasonably strong storm system intensfies over North Dakota tonight. This storm system is expected to generate lcoally heavy showers and thunderstorms over North Dakota which will move into Soutern Manitoba tonight. More rain is expected on Sunday as the storm system moves eastward and draws cooler air into SOuthern Manitoba. At this point, it appears that southwestern Manitoba will see the most rain with this system, with 40-60 mm possible by Sunday night. Winnipeg and the Red River valley will likely see less rainfall, with general amounts of 10 to 20 mm possible but locally heavier amounts under thunderstorms. All in all, it's the best chance of seeing some much needed rain in Winnipeg area in over a month!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Summer ends Friday evening

After another summerlike day today (29C!), Winnipeggers will get another two days of above normal temperatures before the summerlike weather comes to an abrupt end Friday night. A strong low pressure system developing over North Dakota will bring gusty northerly winds and rain for the weekend over southern Manitoba with sharply cooler temperatures. Temperatures will be steady or falling through the teens on Saturday in Winnipeg with occasional rain, while Sunday looks downright miserable with strong northerly winds, lots of rain (perhaps 25 mm) and temperatures only around 10C.  The cool (even cold) weather will continue into next week.. so get out and enjoy the balmy weather while you can this week.. because by Sunday, the wonderful summer of 2006 will be nothing but a nice warm memory!      

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Beautiful September weather continues

Wow.. What an amazing start to September.. 12 days and counting with not a drop of rain. Today was one of those glorious fall days you never want to end.. Beautiful sunny skies, a light breeze, and afternoon temperatures of 27C with a few autumn leaves on the ground. As close to perfect weather as you can get around here..

The rain free start to the month may come to end in Winnipeg by Thursday or Friday, but certainly over the weekend, as an area of low pressure develops over North Dakota setting up an easterly flow of unsettled weather over the Southern Prairies. There's a better chance for rain over southern Saskatchewan and the Manitoba interlake.. but I'm expecting Winnipeg should see some rain by Friday. Whatever the case, the upcoming weekend isn't looking as nice as the first two September weekends in Winnipeg with cloudy skies, and a good chance of rain Saturday and especially Sunday.

Further south, look for summerlike warmth over North Dakota over the next couple of days with highs possibly reaching 30C in Grand Forks on Thursday and Friday.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ash trees turning

Fall is in the air as the ash leaves are quickly turning yellow and falling these past few days. Most ash trees will be bare by the end of September.  Ash trees are nice, but their leafy season is way too short in Manitoba. They're the last to get leaves (end of May) and the first to drop them.  That's a whopping 4 months with leaves.. and 8 months bare.  I mean, why bother??

Speaking of leaves.. I'm hoping for some nice fall colours this year. (as short as the season is up here)   I've noticed that in dry years, fall colours tend to be more brilliant.  Hopefully that's the case this year..       

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Another frosty morning

Saturday morning was another frosty morning over much of Southern Manitoba as temperatures dipped to the freezing mark or lower in many areas. Winnipeg was spared the frost due to a light easterly wind off the city that kept temperatures above zero at the Winnipeg airport.

Temperatures however warmed nicely during the day under glorious blue skies and light east winds that made afternoon highs of 19C seem even warmer.

More of the fine fall weather is in store over the next few days as a ridge of high pressure slowly moves east allowing a return southerly flow of warmer air to move into Southern Manitoba. Look for highs in the low to mid twenties through mid week before cooler and unsettled conditions move in for the end of the week.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Frosty start to the day

Temperatures dropped to the freezing mark over several areas of southern Manitoba early this morning in the wake of a cold front that swept through the area yesterday afternoon. The temperature at Winnipeg airport dipped just below freezing this morning for the first official frost of the season in Winnipeg, with frost scattered throughout rural southern Manitoba overnight. Areas inside the city and near the Manitoba lakes were spared from frost with lows of +2 to +5C (+3.4C at my location in Charleswood with frost on rooftops noted)

Cool weather will continue today with hihgs of only 15C expected.. but plenty of sunshine and light winds will make it feel more comfortable. There is a risk of frost again tonight but the weather will start turning warmer over the weekend with highs reaching the mid 20s again by Monday along with lots of sunshine.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Cooling off Thursday afternoon

The fine summerlike weather of September will give way to a temporary cooldown beginning Thursday afternoon as a cold front pushes through Southern Manitoba from the north. Thursday morning will start off much the same as September has been all month so far.. sunny and warm. Southwest winds of 20 to 30 km/h will allow temperatures to warm to 24 or 25 degrees by the noon hour before winds shift into the north by early afternoon. These northerly winds will tap much cooler air over central Manitoba, and our temperatures will likely be dropping though the afternoon to around 18c by evening. Temperatures will continue to drop Thursday night with a forecast low of +4C by Friday morning. Sunny skies and cool temperatures are forecast for Friday with highs only around 17C.

The good news is that the weather should be dry and mild through the weekend as a large ridge of high pressure dominates the weather picture. Temperatures will remain near normal with highs around 20C but with light winds and sunshine.. conditions will be ideal for outdoor activities. Temperatures are expected to rise above normal again next week as the ridge of high pressure moves east and southerly winds bring warmer air into southern Manitoba once again.

Sunday, September 03, 2006



After the driest July on record in Winnipeg, some much needed rains finally returned during the first two weeks of August. Rainfall was highly variable through the city as slow moving and intense thunderstorms brought locally heavy rainfall to some areas of the city, but missed others. For example at my station in Charleswood, only 39 mm of rain was recorded for the month while areas in St Vital reported 93 to 144 mm during August. The bulk of the rainfall was recorded during two main rain events on the 10th and 12th when storms brought local rainfall totals of 50 to 100 mm over central and southern Winnipeg. Drier weather returned over the last half of the month with only two minor rain events on the 25th and 26th. There were numerous sunny days making for ideal conditions for outdoor activities.

Officially at Winnipeg airport, 51.0 mm of rain fell during August, still about 25 mm below normal for the month. This made the summer of 2006 the third driest on record in Winnipeg with a seasonal total of 90.5 mm over the 3 month period from June through August. Only the summers of 1929 (76.7 mm) and 1886 (77.2 mm) have been drier in the city since record began in 1873. The 90.5 mm of rain was only 38% of the normal 235 mm that usually falls over the summer in Winnipeg. At my station in Charleswood, conditions were even drier with a rainfall total of only 72 mm over the 3 month summer period.

Temperaturewise, August continued the above normal pattern of the summer with warm temperatures through the month. The monthly mean of 20.1 (19.8 at YWG airport) was about 1.5 degrees above normal, and combined with June and July, made the summer of 2006 the 10th warmest summer on record in Winnipeg. There were 5 days of 30 degrees or more during August with a maximum of 32C on the 27th. This brought the summer total of 30 degree days to 23 this year (normal 11 in a summer)

All in all.. a terrific end to a terrific summer..

Saturday, September 02, 2006

2006 YWG summer temps

Here are some temperature stats on our past summer in Winnipeg.. As a whole, the summer of 2006 (JJA) tied the summers of 1919, 1921 and 1936 as the 10th warmest summer on record (mean temperatures based on 1873-2006)  


        YEAR       JUN          JUL        AUG       SUMMER MEAN









































































However, if we look at daytime high temperatures, this past summer was actually the 4th warmest based on mean maximums.



































































This shows that although this summer was quite warm during the day, nighttime temperatures were relatively cool and comfortable, with a noticeable lack of humidity.  This relegated the overall mean temperature of the summer to “only” 10th place.  This fits nicely with the overall dryness of the summer, which allowed for greater heating during the day, and sufficient cooling at night, almost like a desert climate.


A look at summer mean temperatures since 1873 shows that overall summer temperatures peaked in the late 1930s (after the hot dust bowl years) and again in the early 60s.  Since then, our summer temperatures have been fairly flat with no real warming or cooling trends.  One thing that is more evident however these past 25 years is the variability of our summers.. there seems to be wider swings in our summer weather year after year compared to before. For example, our record dry summer this year comes after one of our wettest summers last year, which came after the coldest summer on record in 2004, which came after a warm dry summer in 2003.  In addition Winnipeg’s two warmest summers and two coldest summers since 1873 have all been recorded within the past 25 years.  This lends some credence to the climate change theory that supports a more extreme and variable climate.