Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Intensifying storm system to bring strong winds, rain and snow to southern MB Friday

A storm system over the southern US plains will move north and intensify Thursday into Friday, bringing a large swath of precipitation over southern MB on Friday. Rain from this system will spread over southern MB Thursday afternoon into Thursday night, and continue into Friday over the RRV and SE Manitoba. Heavy rainfall is possible with amounts of 20 - 40 mm in some areas Thursday night into Friday. Further west, precipitation will likely change to snow over the western RRV into SW Manitoba Thursday night into Friday, with significant accumulations possible, especially through the Pilot Mound area down into western and central ND. Increasing northerly winds of 50 to 70 km/h Friday will compound the situation, especially in areas with snow. There is still considerable uncertainty in the evolution of this upcoming storm system, especially with respect to where the rain/snow line will end up. This will have considerable impact on eventual rainfall and snowfall amounts. Stay tuned with updates on this developing situation.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mild Sunday over southern MB

After an unseasonably cold first half of October, temperatures finally climbed to above normal values over southern MB today with afternoon highs of 15-20C under partly sunny skies. Winnipeg reached a high of 16C, with 20C temperatures recorded over southwest MB, mainly south of Highway 2 in places like Melita, Boissevain, Glenboro, Treherne as far east as Carman. In fact, Melita was the national hot spot today at 21.6C. It was even warmer south of the border with temperatures reaching a summerlike 80F (27C) in Bismarck ND. At Winnipeg, the 16C reading was the warmest day of the month so far, and the first day with temperatures in double digits since Oct 3rd. The mild weather will be short lived however as a cold front moves through tonight, dropping temperatures back into the single digits for the rest of the week.

Friday, October 16, 2009

CPC winter outlook calls for milder than normal conditions for Prairies

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) released its preliminary winter outlook for 2009-2010, and it's calling for milder than normal conditions over the Prairies for the upcoming winter. This is in response to the current El Nino that is expected to persist and possibly strengthen over the winter months. The first half of October has been well below normal due to a stubborn polar vortex over Hudson Bay that has maintained cold weather over much of the Prairies. There are hints that this pattern will relax over the next week or two allowing for more seasonal temperatures for the second half of October. The latest CPC 30 day outlook calls for milder than normal conditions over the Prairies through mid-November.

See the winter outlook from NWS Grand Forks for a more detailed discussion on the weather influences and trends expected for the Red River valley area this upcoming winter.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

First snow of the season hits Winnipeg

Only two weeks after summerlike weather, winter made a premature entrance over southern Manitoba with an early season snowfall over parts of the province Friday. Snow began in earnest over the Riding Mountain and central Interlake areas early Friday with 10-20 cm reported from Dauphin to Fisher Branch. By Friday evening, cold northwest winds on the backside of the system created snowsqualls off Lake Manitoba that pushed into Winnipeg, dumping 10 cm of snow in the city between 6 pm and midnight. The snow created many problems on area roadways with numerous accidents including 2 multi-vehicle pileups on the perimeter highway around Winnipeg. Intense snowsqualls also developed off Lake Winnipeg Friday night into Saturday producing 30 to 50 cm of snow north and east of Lac Du Bonnet. Temperatures will remain well below normal through the Thanksgiving weekend with occasional flurries from time to time. Another system moving through the Dakotas threatens more snow over southeast Manitoba on Monday.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Heavy snow event shaping up for Riding Mountain/Dauphin area Friday

A low pressure system over southwest Saskatchewan this morning will track into southwest Manitoba by Friday morning, bringing an area of heavy snow with it. The system will be slow moving and intensifying due to strong upper support and lift in the atmosphere, which will bring a relatively small but intense area of snow over southwest Manitoba Friday into Friday night. At this point, it appears that the Riding Mountain area including Dauphin will bear the brunt of the heaviest snow.. with models indicating that 15 - 30 cm of snow is possible in some areas by Saturday morning. A winter storm watch has been issued for the area advising of the potential of this heavy snow event. Stay tuned..

And although it's a little early in the season for a significant snowfall, it's not unusual. Just 4 years ago on October 5 2005, a record early season snowstorm dumped up to 45 cm of snow over southwest Manitoba near Pilot Mound area as well as North Dakota, with 5-10 cm in Winnipeg. Here's a list of the earliest October snowfalls of 2 cm or more in Winnipeg..

Oct 1 1996 ...... 4.0 cm
Oct 2 1950 ...... 12.7 cm
Oct 4 1952 ...... 8.6 cm
Oct 5 1876 ...... 11.4 cm
Oct 5 1925 ...... 5.1 cm
Oct 5 2002 ...... 4.0 cm
Oct 5 2005 ...... 5.0 cm (est)
Oct 7-8 1985 .... 13.8 cm
Oct 8 1959 ...... 2.5 cm
Oct 8 1875 ...... 2.5 cm
Oct 8 1987 ...... 2.0 cm
Oct 9 2009 ...... 10.0 cm
Oct 10 1883 ..... 10.9 cm
10 1959 ..... 5.1 cm
Oct 10 1919
..... 3.3 cm

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Staying cool... snow possible by end of week

Cool weather will be with us for the week ahead with generally cloudy skies and temperatures remaining below normal. Tuesday looks like the nicest day of the week with partial sunshine and temperatures near normal. A cold front will then move across southern MB Wednesday bringing gusty northwest winds and below normal temperatures. Even colder air will be moving in by Friday as a second cold front crosses the area, bringing a chance of snow over much of southern MB Friday into Saturday. Welcome to October!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

System to bring rain south and west of Winnipeg

A low pressure system moving through the Dakotas is spreading an area of rain over southwestern MB this morning. Rain will gradually spread into the Red River valley today but should stay mainly to the south and west of Winnipeg as the system stalls and pulls south. Rainfall amounts of 20-40 mm are forecast over western MB with 10-20 mm possible over the Red River valley south and west of Winnipeg. Areas north and east of Winnipeg should stay dry today into Friday.