Monday, September 30, 2013

Nice finish to a nice month..

September will be ending on a mainly sunny and warm note today over the Red River valley as a southwest flow of  mild air pushes temperatures into the low 20s this afternoon. A weak cold front will push in from the west later today into this evening bringing a slight chance of showers, ushering in slightly cooler and windy conditions for the first day of October. Brisk westerly winds Tuesday will be gusting to 60 or 70 km/h but temperatures will remain above normal with highs in the upper teens with a mix of sun and cloud. Normal highs at this time of year are now around the 15C mark. Above normal temperatures are expected to continue through midweek before cooler and more unsettled conditions move in for the end of the week. All in all, a nice stretch of weather to end off September which will finish some 3C above normal for the month.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Showers finally clip Winnipeg.. heavier rain likely over SE Manitoba Friday into Saturday

An area of showers and scattered thunderstorms over the western RRV pushed north across Winnipeg late this morning, bringing about 5.5 mm of rain to Winnipeg airport through midday. It wasn't much, but it was the most significant rainfall in the city since August 18th when 30 mm fell during a thunderstorm. Today's rainfall brought the monthly total to 10.5 mm at YWG airport, still well below the normal September rainfall of 45.5 mm (1981-2010 average)

24 hr rainfall amounts from GGEM
through Sat evening. Yellow marks
15 mm, orange 25 mm, green 5 mm. 
Regardless, the rain was welcome, and we could be in for some more rain Friday into Saturday as a stationary frontal system sets up along the MB/Ontario border, with a couple waves of rain spreading north along the boundary. At this point, it looks like the bulk of the heaviest rain will be over SE Manitoba into Lake of the Woods/NW Ontario where 25-50 mm of rain is possible by Saturday evening. (see image left) Amounts will be less over Winnipeg and the RRV, with a sharp dropoff in rain amounts west of the RRV. For Winnipeg, rainfall amounts of 5-10 mm are possible Friday afternoon into Saturday morning with higher amounts expected east of the city. However, if the rain shield edges further west as some models have been suggesting, Winnipeg could also see higher amounts.

UPDATE: (7 pm Sept 28) Rainfall amounts through 7 pm (since midnight)

Winnipeg airport ...............  20 mm
Winnipeg Forks ................  24 mm
Winnipeg Charleswood .....  24 mm   (Rob's Obs)

Sprague ............................  45 mm  (95 mm since Friday morning)
Kenora .............................. 40 mm  (88 mm since Friday morning)
Falcon Lake ....................... 33 mm
Dugald ............................... 31 mm
Selkirk ............................... 31 mm
Steinbach ..........................  26 mm
Pinawa ............................... 25 mm
Letellier .............................. 21 mm
Emerson ............................  20 mm
Morris ...............................  19 mm
Morden .............................. 16 mm
Winkler .............................  15 mm
Carman .............................  13 mm
Portage LP ........................    7 mm

Data sources... Env Canada, MB agriculture and WxUnderground sites. Data is unofficial and has not been quality controlled.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dry spell continues as rain eludes Winnipeg/Red River valley

Rainfall in Winnipeg over
the past 30 days. Only 6 mm
has fallen since August 19

Showers and scattered thunderstorms brought some beneficial rain to western Manitoba and the Interlake regions Monday with general amounts of 15 to 30 mm recorded, but for Winnipeg and much of the Red River valley and SE Manitoba, it was another dry day as rain from the system bypassed the area to the west and north. It's been a dry September in Winnipeg and much of the RRV, with only 4 mm of rain recorded at Winnipeg airport this month, and only 6 mm over the past 6 weeks. The last significant rainfall in Winnipeg was during a heavy thunderstorm on August 18th when 30 mm fell in about an hour. Since then, rainfall has been scarce with minor amounts falling on a few days, with heavier showers often bypassing the city.  Normal September rainfall is 45.5 mm in Winnipeg (based on 1981-2010 averages), so we are running well below normal for the month.  This is very similar to last fall when Winnipeg recorded its second driest September on record with only 4 mm falling during the entire month. 

As for this week, the next chance for precipitation in Winnipeg will be Thursday as a storm system pushes across western Manitoba. Once again however, it looks like the bulk of precipitation with this system will be mainly west of the Red River valley. Models are indicating the possibility of a second system bringing more widespread rain to Winnipeg and the RRV Friday night into Saturday, which hopefully pans out as we can use the rain.  Last fall, tinder dry conditions in September led to several wildfires in early October, including one near Vita MB that damaged several homes and forced the evacuation of the entire town.       


Saturday, September 21, 2013

First frost of the season in Winnipeg ends growing season at 131 days.. record crop yield reported by area farmers

2013 saw one of the best crop yields on record
over the Red River valley
The 2013 growing season for Winnipeg officially ended this morning with a low of -1.3C recorded at the Winnipeg airport site.  The last spring frost this year was on May 12th, giving a growing season length of 131 days this year, 10 days above the average length of 121 days (at Winnipeg airport)  Normal first fall frost at the airport is Sept 22nd, while the average last spring frost is May 23rd. Not all areas of the city however saw frost this morning, as an area of lake effect cloud streaming off Lake Winnipeg kept temperatures above freezing over northern and eastern sections of the city and areas to the north and east. At my site in Charleswood, I had a low of +0.4C, with some patchy frost noted.

After one of the latest springs on record this year, the 2013 growing season did quite well, with area farmers reporting record crop yields this year thanks to favourable weather conditions and a fine late summer that extended the growing season into late September.  This comes after another exceptional year in 2012 that also saw a bumper crop helped in part by one of the earliest springs on record in southern Manitoba.      

Friday, September 13, 2013

Warm and breezy day ahead.. cooling off for the weekend..

It will be a beautiful end to the week today as clear blue skies and southerly breezes push temperatures into the mid 20s this afternoon, some 8C above normal for mid September. Southerly winds will steadily increase today from 20 km/h this morning to 30 gusting 50 km/h by mid to late afternoon, especially in Winnipeg as southerly winds funnel up the Red River valley.  A cold front will push through southern MB from the north overnight ushering in cooler temperatures for the weekend as winds shift into the north Saturday. High pressure will build over western MB by Sunday morning, bringing chilly morning lows in the single digits, as well as a threat of frost over western MB and the interlake areas. Warm and dry conditions are expected to return again early next week before an increasing chance of showers by Thursday. Overall, it's been a fine late summer in southern MB with temperatures averaging some 4C above normal since mid August.  

Friday, September 06, 2013

September sizzler! Winnipeg records hottest September day in 30 years. Cooler weather for the weekend with showers by Monday..

3 pm temperatures across southern MB
Sept 6 2013 
It was a September sizzler as the remnants of a very warm airmass from western Canada pushed over southern Manitoba today sending temperatures into the low 30s this afternoon, with humidex values peaking around the 40 mark.. almost unheard of for September. In Winnipeg, temperatures peaked at 33.8C at YWG airport, making it the hottest September day in the city in 30 years since a 38.8C reading on Sept 2 1983. A weak cold front pushing south from the interlake was producing some widely scattered thunderstorms late today, and a severe thunderstorm watch was issued for much of southern MB including Winnipeg and the Red River valley.  Not everyone will see storms this evening due to their isolated nature, but the potential is there for some of these storms to become severe with strong wind gusts and large hail as the main threats.

This front will usher in cooler and less humid air for the weekend with sunshine and 25C temperatures for Saturday.. a fine looking start to the weekend. Clouds will be spreading in on Sunday as a disturbance tracks across the northern Plain states, which will likely bring some showers and embedded thunderstorms over southern MB including the Red River valley Sunday night into Monday. This could be the most significant rainfall in Winnipeg since a thunderstorm brought 30 mm of rain to the city back on August 18th. Since then, rain has been scarce with only 2 mm falling in Winnipeg over the past 3 weeks.