Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April ends on cool damp note as below normal streak continues..

Same story.. different month
Below normal temperatures dominated
in April, much like March and February
A cool damp day over Winnipeg and southeast Manitoba marked an appropriate end to the month of April, which will end up as the 7th straight month below normal in Winnipeg. The month will finish with an average temperature of +0.3C, over 4C below normal for April (1981-2010 normal April average of +4.4C), making this the 19th coldest April on record since 1872, tied with the Aprils of 1962, 1888, and 1877.  This follows the 19th coldest March and 21st coldest February, so we've had top 20 type cold weather for 3 straight months now. And it doesn't look like the weather pattern will be changing anytime soon as a persistent upper trough over central North America maintains cooler than normal weather over southern Manitoba through the first week of May at least. Normal highs for Winnipeg are now 16C and will climb to 19C by mid May and 22C by the end of May. If we can even get back to a normal weather pattern by mid May, we would be seeing more frequent and persistent 20C weather. Winnipeg has yet to hit the 20C mark this year, and has hit the 15C mark only once with a high of 15.1C on April 23rd. But there have been worse starts to May.. such as 1979 which saw single digit highs for the first 11 days of the month along with snowflurries almost each day, and a 7 cm snowfall on May 10-11th. Whatever the case, residents of southern Manitoba are eager for a pattern change.. which hopefully comes by the beginning of summer.

Latest dates that Winnipeg first reached 20C (data since 1872) 

1.   May 25 1907
2.   May 21 1956
3.   May 18 1996
4t.  May 17 1935, 1967
6t.  May 16 1883, 1892, 1979
9.   May 15 1884
10. May 14 1902

Source: Environment Canada

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Another round of wet weather moving into southern Manitoba Sunday night through Monday

RDPS model valid midday
Monday Apr 28th
showing widespread precip
from US storm system
After a brief break this weekend, another round of wet weather will be moving into southern Manitoba Sunday night into Monday as a large storm system south of the border spreads widespread rains northward. Rain from this system will be pushing into the southern RRV and SW Manitoba by late Sunday into Sunday evening, reaching Winnipeg during Sunday night. Rain will continue through Monday before tapering off Monday night. Rainfall totals of 15-25 mm will be widespread across southern Manitoba with amounts of 30 to 40 mm possible over portions of the southern and western RRV into southwest Manitoba. In addition, precipitation could even be mixed with wet snow over western Manitoba Sunday night into Monday morning with slushy accumulations possible over higher elevations. Drier but cool weather is forecast through mid week with temperatures running some 5-10C below normal for the end of April. Unfortunately, there are still no signs of a major pattern change to above normal weather for us into early May.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Wet weather moving in for mid week..

More typical springlike weather has finally become established across southern Manitoba as the winter snowpack has pretty much disappeared across most areas. This is allowing the late April sun to warm up the surface more easily, with temperatures reaching more seasonable values now.  Tuesday looks to be a beautiful day with lots of sunshine and temperatures reaching the mid teens.. pretty much normal for this time of year. The nice weather however will be short lived as a large storm system developing over the western Prairies brings a widespread area of rain across southern Manitoba during Wednesday, reaching Winnipeg by late afternoon or evening. Rain will become steadier and heavier Wednesday night, with a good soaking of 15 to 25 mm possible through Thursday, likely our most significant rainfall since last October. Rain will taper off Thursday night, possibly changing to some wet snowflurries by early Friday as colder air works in behind the system. Cooler than normal weather will follow in the wake of this system through the weekend into early next week. This will ensure that April finishes below normal by a good 4-5C, the 7th straight month that has ended up below normal in Winnipeg. The last month that was above normal here was last September which finished 2.5C above normal. Hopefully, May can finally break the below normal streak..    

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Record cold possible this week before warming trend for Easter holiday weekend..

Well below normal temperatures will once again flood into southern Manitoba over the next few days in the wake of yesterday's storm system that brought snow, ice pellets and patchy rain or drizzle across the area. Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing through Thursday before milder weather moves in by the end of the week. Temperatures for the first half of the week will be more typical for early March than mid April, with highs around -5C and lows near -15C, well below normal for this time of year (normal highs are now +10C, normal lows -2C)  In fact, some record low maximum and minimum temperatures will be challenged this week in Winnipeg, especially Tuesday and Wednesday.

Record temperatures for Winnipeg this week.

DATE.........    REC LOW MIN ........... REC LOW MAX ..... Forecast low/high this week

Mon Apr 14 ....  -16.7C  (1893) .......   -7.8C (1880)  ............  -14/-6
Tue Apr 15 .....  -16.7C  (1893) ........  -6.7C  (1875) ............   -17/-6
Wed Apr 16 ....   -16.7C  (1875)  ......  -4.4C  (1910) ............  -13/-5
Thu Apr 17 .....   -13.3C  (1953) ........  -3.3C (1953)  ............  -12/-2

Normals for the period: High +10C, Low -2C.
Note that Winnipeg has never recorded a temperature colder than -15C after April 16th so temperatures this week represent some of the coldest weather on record for so late in the year here. The good news is that there are signs of a significant warmup by the Easter holiday weekend, with temperatures climbing to double digit values again. We can only hope the latest cold spell this week is winter's last hurrah after what has been a much too long stay this year. Over the past 11 weeks, Winnipeg has seen only 10 days above normal. The graph below shows daily temperature departures for Winnipeg over the past 90 days, which clearly shows an overly persistent pattern of well below normal temperatures since late January (in fact, since the beginning of December)  We're well overdue for a pattern change..

Daily temperature departures for Winnipeg over
the past 90 days. Mother Nature needs a major reboot

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Like it or not.. here comes the snow..

640 am Woodlands radar and webcam images
showing progress of snow across
southern MB early this morning
The latest bout of winter is on its way across southern Manitoba this morning with snow spreading into areas west of Portage La Prairie as of 7 am. Snow will continue to advance east this morning, reaching Winnipeg by mid to late morning. Snow may become heavy at times, with amounts of 5 cm possible by mid afternoon, although some areas could see 5-10 cm in heavier bands. Heaviest snowfall amounts are expected over higher terrain northwest of Portage La Prairie where 10-15 cm is expected today.

Follow this blog, my webcam page, MB highways, and AWM radar to keep track of this latest bout of wintery weather.

UPDATE: Snowfall reports from April 12th

Mafeking ............ 22 cm  (north of Swan River)
Cowan ............... 18 cm  (east of Swan River)
St Claude ............ 15 cm (south of Portage La Prairie)
Rossburn ............ 14 cm (southwest of Riding Mtn Park)
Carman .............. 10 cm
Brandon .............. 5-10 cm  (5 cm at YBR airport)
Neepawa ............  9 cm
Miami .................  9 cm
Gilbert Plains ....... 8 cm
St Alphonse ........  7 cm (south of Spruce Woods Park)
Portage LP .........  7 cm
High Bluff ............  7 cm (east of Portage La Prairie)
Morden ................ 6 cm
Winkler ................ 5 cm
Pinawa ................. 5 cm 
Marquette ............ 5 cm (east of Portage La Prairie)
Stony Mtn ............ 4 cm
Winnipeg .............  2 cm  (5 mm melted precip with ice pellets, rain and drizzle)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

After a springlike week, back to some winter this weekend..

Spinglike weather finally made an appearance over southern MB this week with the first double digit temperatures of the season in Winnipeg Wednesday (high of +10.4C), and almost 20C temperatures over the southwest RRV (19.3C in snowfree Morden) The mild temperatures have made a significant dent in the snowpack across southern MB, with most areas west of the Red River valley and south of the TransCanada now snow free. Here in Winnipeg, snowdepth at my location has dropped to 14 cm this morning after being at 40 cm just last weekend. Snowcover should continue to go down over the next couple of days as daytime temperatures remain above freezing.

But don't put away the snowshovels and boots just yet!  Believe it or not, indications are that Winnipeg and much of southern  MB will be seeing more of the white stuff this weekend, especially Saturday as a couple of disturbances track across the southern Prairies, while colder air flows in from the north. The first wave of snow is expected to spread over SW MB and along the US border Friday night into early Saturday, before another disturbance from central Saskatchewan brings a second wave of snow across the western Parklands into the Red River valley through Saturday, including Winnipeg.  There is still a lot of uncertainty about how much snow will fall with these systems due to temperatures hovering near the freezing mark, but it's possible Winnipeg and the RRV could see 5-10 cm of snow Saturday, while some higher elevations of western MB may see 15 cm of snow or more. Colder air will follow in the wake of these systems with daytime highs remaining below freezing early next week, well below normal for this time of year (normal highs now +9c). Temperatures are expected to moderate by the end of next week with near normal temperatures again by next weekend. Until then, get ready for another taste of winter.. hopefully the last parting shot of the season!  

Saturday, April 05, 2014

After coldest 4 month stretch in 115 years, spring weather finally returning to southern Manitoba

It's been a long tough winter in southern Manitoba, but springlike weather is finally returning this week as temperatures rise well above freezing for the next 7 days at least. The stubborn source of Arctic air that has persisted over central Canada for the last 4 months is finally showing signs of  retreating back north, which will allow more seasonable temperatures to spread across southern Manitoba this week. Normal highs are now +7C in Winnipeg, as we enter the climatogical period when snow cover has normally disappeared in the Red River valley.  This of course is not the case this year as snowdepths of 25-50 cm are still prevalent across much of the northern valley, including Winnipeg (officially 40 cm at my place as of this morning)  However, the upcoming spell of mild temperatures will make a big dent in the snowpack by the end of the week, and it's likely some parts of the Red River valley will be snowfree by next weekend.  The big melt this year is coming 2-3 weeks earlier than last year when the snowpack didn't disappear until April 27th in Winnipeg, thanks to prolonged cold weather that didn't see temperatures rise above +5C at Winnipeg airport until April 24th, the latest date on record. The good news with this week's big melt is that no significant precipitation is expected until at least next weekend, which will ease major flooding concerns. Nonetheless, the rapid melt this week will likely result in ponding of water in poor drainage areas as well as rising water levels in ditches.

Update on March stats: March finished with an average temperature of -12.7C in Winnipeg, the 19th coldest March on record, and the coldest March since 1996 (-13.0C)  The month averaged almost 7C below the 1981-2010 March average of -5.8C.  This made the 4 month period of December-March the coldest such period in Winnipeg since the winter of 1898-99 with an average temperature of -18.4C (tied with 1898-99)  During that 4 month period, Winnipeg saw 90 days with temperatures of -20C or lower.. the 6th most since 1872. For more details, see Winnipeg weather blog post on this year's harsh winter.