Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chilly start to the day.. nice warmup for next week..

It was a chilly start to the day Thursday morning over southern Manitoba as an Arctic ridge of high pressure ushered in cold air over the province. In Winnipeg, early morning temperatures ranged from -19C over the north end of the city to -14C in the south (-17C at the airport) The satellite photo above clearly shows the swath of snow left over from Wednesday morning which dropped 2 to 5 cm from Riding Mountains to the east of Winnipeg. Snowcover was still evident in the north and east ends of the city this morning which helped to produce colder temperatures in those areas. Sunny skies and light winds are forecast today with temperatures rising to -6C this afternoon, well below the normal high of +2C this time of year.

The good news is that temperatures will be moderating over the next few days with a major warmup expected next week. Highs in the mid teens are expected to close out the month of March, which will rank as one of the top 10 mildest on record in Winnipeg.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Snow free March continues.. will it last?

Our remarkable early spring weather continues into the third week of March, with still no measurable snow in Winnipeg since the start of the month. (The airport had a few flurries last Thursday night but nothing measurable) Since 1872, there has never been a March in Winnipeg that has not had some measurable snow. The least snowy March was back in 1946 with only 0.8 cm for the month. The top 5 least snowy Marches in Winnipeg since 1872 are as follows..

1946 ......... 0.8 cm
1938 ......... 1.0 cm
1939 ......... 1.5 cm
1961 ......... 1.5 cm
1924 ......... 2.3 cm

The question is.. we will set a new snow free mark this year? We keep dodging bullets as weather systems bypass Winnipeg, but our luck may be running out this week as a couple of clipper systems move across the southern Prairies. One moving through Wednesday may bring a cm or two to Winnipeg and the Interlake regions, followed by another clipper with a chance of snow Friday night. Time will tell if we can dodge a couple more bullets to set a new new record for March.

One thing to keep in mind through, of all those top 5 least snowy Marches, ALL of them had measurable snow in April and some even in May. (see monthly snowfall table below)


1946 ......... 0.8 cm .... 0.8 cm .... Tr
1938 ......... 1.0 cm .... 13.7 cm .... 8.4 cm
1939 ......... 1.5 cm .... 1.5 cm .... 0.0 cm
1961 ......... 1.5 cm ..... 7.6 cm .... 0.0 cm
1924 ......... 2.3 cm ....18.8 cm .... 0.3 cm

So a lack of snow in March is no sign that winter weather is over.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cold front to bring strong winds, falling temperatures this afternoon into this evening

A low pressure system tracking through central Manitoba will drag a sharp cold front across southern MB today bringing an end to the current mild spell. The cold front along the MB/SK border this morning will push across Winnipeg and the RRV this afternoon. The front will be marked with northwest winds of 50 km/h with gusts to 70 or 80 km/h at times and falling temperatures. There is a chance of some showers or flurries with the frontal passage but the bulk of the precipitation with this system, falling as snow, is expected through the Interlake and central MB where several cm may fall. As the colder air deepens this evening, Winnipeg may see a dusting of light snow with gusty northwest winds continuing along with below freezing temperatures. That could slick up some city streets and bridges so be prepared for local icing. Clearing conditions are expected Friday along with diminishing winds.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sunshine and vanishing snowpack bring double digit temperatures to Winnipeg, southeast MB

The combination of sunshine, a disappearing snowpack, and the strengthening March sun allowed temperatures to soar into the double digits across southeast MB and the northern Red River valley today. Several record highs were established across the province today mainly over northern communities as well as Pinawa (12.5c vs 11.0C) The mildest temperatures were across southeast MB into the eastern and northern RRV including 13C in Selkirk, Steinbach, Marchand and 15C in Great Falls.

Winnipeg just missed a record high today as the temperatures climbed to 10.2C at the airport and 11.4 at the Forks, a little shy of the record for March 13th of 12.2C set back in 1902. This was the mildest day in Winnipeg since Nov 21st when it hit 13C, one of the latest double digit days on record. Thus, with 111 days between double digit temperatures, this makes it one of the shortest winters on record in Winnipeg .

Cloud and fog will spread northward from North Dakota tonight so temperatures will be a little cooler on Sunday.

Mild weather continues this week.. colder air looms for next weekend..

The mild springlike weather will continue this week over southern Manitoba with melting temperatures of +7c or higher through Friday, some 5-10C above the normal high of -1C this time of year. In fact, double digit temperatures are possible in areas that see sun this weekend into mid week over parts of the Interlake, northern RRV and southeast Manitoba where snowcover is becoming sparse. Long range models however are indicating a pattern change to colder weather next weekend, the official start of spring, with temperatures dropping to near or below normal values.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Winter of 2009-10 warmest and driest in Canada in over 60 years

The latest winter in Canada will go down as the warmest and driest winter on a national basis since records started in 1948. The 3 month period of Dec 2009 - Feb 2010 averaged 4.0C above normal for the country as a whole, topping the previous record mildest national winter of 2005-06 which was 3.9C above normal. The bulk of the warmth was observed over Arctic Canada which experienced its warmest winter on record on a regional basis averaging over 5C above normal. In the Prairies, the winter did not rank in the top 10 mildest winters since 1948 with the southwestern prairies being the only part of the country which experienced a cooler than normal winter this year.

This past winter was also the driest on record over the country, with precipitation averaging some 22% below normal. This makes it the driest winter on a national basis since 1977-78 which averaged 20% below normal. The winter was the 9th driest on record for the Prairies averaging some 39% below normal precipitation. The warm and dry winter can be at least partly attributed to the moderately strong El Nino which has been persistent since last fall.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

New mobile app for Weather Central site

I'm continually frustrated by the lack of mobile applications for EC products.. but thanks to the work of local EC staff in Winnipeg, the Weather Central site from the University of Manitoba now has a mobile version for your iphone, itouch, or blackberry devices. The mobile app has convenient links to EC forecasts, satellite imagery, and local radar as well as an input form for severe weather reports, handy to relay those severe weather reports from home, on the road, or wherever you are! Check it out!