Sunday, May 15, 2016

After a chilly weekend.. things looking up this week.

It was a chilly weekend over southern Manitoba with high temperatures only near 11C Saturday, and 15C today along with some showers.  But the rest of the week is looking up as the cool airmass moves east and a warmer upper pattern re-establishes itself over the Prairies.  The result will be a warmer and drier week coming up with ample sunshine and highs back to the 20C mark by Tuesday, and mid to upper 20s by the end of the week.  The early outlook for the Victoria Day long weekend looks warm and increasingly humid with a chance of showers and thunderstorms by Monday.  

Monday, May 09, 2016

Warm start to week with a cold finish.. and some rain in between..

It's been a summery and dry start to May in southern Manitoba with plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures. As of Sunday May 8, the monthly mean temperature for the month has been 14C in Winnipeg, about 3-4C above normal for the first week of May.  And the warm weather is expected to continue Monday with another sunny but hazy, breezy and dry day, and highs of 25C.  But that will be the end of the warm weather for awhile as the upper weather pattern shifts this week to bring cooler and more unsettled weather into southern Manitoba.  Tuesday will see a band of showers sweep across southern Manitoba ahead of a deepening storm system over Montana and Dakotas.  Scattered showers are expected Wednesday as the storm system slowly tracks across southern Manitoba, before cooler weather arrives Thursday behind the system with northwest winds and occasional rain keeping temperatures only near 10C.  The rain should pull off Friday, but temperatures will be quite chilly with highs only in the single digits of +5-8C, quite a contrast to the how the week started in the mid 20s.

But we can use the rain. Today marked the 3rd straight week with little or no rainfall in Winnipeg and much of southern MB. Preliminary guidance is indicating that 10-20 mm of rain is possible between Tuesday and Thursday across Winnipeg and the RRV. And at this point, not too many people will be complaining considering how dry things have been. In fact the dry weather has led to a couple of large wildfires near the Ontario/Manitoba border over the past few days, and Monday will see high risk fire weather conditions with gusty southeast winds, warm temperatures and low humidity.  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Beautiful weekend ahead.. dry weather to continue for the next week

Finally! A beautiful weekend to enjoy in southern Manitoba. Weekends in April have not been kind to Monday-Friday workers, with below normal temperatures and a washout weekend in mid April. But this weekend looks terrific to enjoy the outdoors and get that BBQ going.. plenty of sun and temperatures in the mid to upper teens, slightly above normal for the end of April (normal highs 15C).  And the good news is the dry weather should continue much of next week, with no major systems expected to impact southern Manitoba through next Friday. In addition, temperatures will be climbing into the mid 20s by the end of week, although there may be a brief cooldown mid week. The next threat of any meaningful rainfall over southern Manitoba looks to be over the weekend of May 7-8th as a storm system tracks across the Dakotas with showers and possible thunderstorms. It's still a week ahead though, and there's still considerable uncertainty on the track of this system and what impacts it will have on southern Manitoba. In the meantime.. enjoy the lovely dry weather!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Seasonably cool but dry week ahead.. stormier and wetter south of US border

Forecast precipitation Apr 23 - 30th (inches) shows dry
conditions over Manitoba but wet south of the US border
(image from NOAA -WPC)  
The last week of April is looking mainly rain-free across most of southern Manitoba as a blocking ridge of high pressure over northern Manitoba maintains cool but dry conditions across the province. Temperatures over southern Manitoba will be in the 10-13C range Sunday through Thursday.. which is just slightly below normal late April highs (14C)  But while we remain dry in southern Manitoba, it will be a different story south of the US border as a couple of strong storm system track across the central plains over the next few days.  On Sunday, a storm system will track across South Dakota spreading showers across North Dakota and northern Minnesota, with locally heavy rain possible.  The pressure gradient between high pressure over northern Manitoba and low pressure over South Dakota will result in a brisk easterly flow across southern Manitoba Sunday, with east to northeast winds of 40 gusting 60 km/h expected. Those winds will add a bit of a chill to an otherwise fairly nice day Sunday.

Severe weather risk map for Tuesday April 26th
shows severe storms possible through southern plains
(Weather Network graphic)  
Tuesday will see another storm system tracking a bit further south, across western Kansas, bringing a severe weather threat across the US "tornado alley" from northern Texas through Oklahoma into Kansas. In fact, the US Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman OK has already warned of a potential outbreak of severe storms Tuesday with violent tornadoes and large hail possible. Stay tuned on this developing system for early next week. The system will also spread additional rain across much of South Dakota, some of it locally heavy. The system is expected to push east into the Ohio Valley by mid week with high pressure continuing to dominate over Manitoba. The result will be a dry week here with seasonably cool temperatures gradually warming to normal or above normal values by the end of the week.  Overall, it looks like parts of North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota could see 25-50 mm of additional rainfall over the upcoming week.    

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A couple nice days.. then back below normal. April stuck in neutral here while western Canada bakes..

After a miserably wet and cool weekend that saw 30 to 50 mm of rain dumped on the Red River valley,  drier weather has returned to southern Manitoba this week with sunshine and temperatures above seasonal values. And it looks like we'll see one more warm day Wednesday before yet another change to cooler weather by Thursday which is expected to persist through the weekend into early next week.  Wednesday should see sunshine mixing with clouds and temperatures near 20C in the afternoon with a southwest breeze. A cold front however will slide through southern Manitoba from the north Wednesday evening/night bringing a drop in temperatures for Thursday.  Highs Thursday will struggle to reach 10C, some 10 degrees cooler than Wednesday's highs.    

On Friday, a weak system will track across southern Manitoba from the west bringing an area of light rain, possibly mixed with, uggh, wet snow Friday morning over western Manitoba. (Current forecasts of "sunny" weather Friday for the Red River valley are way too optimistic based on current model guidance. Don't be surprised to see that forecast change over the next day or two)

The weekend looks generally dry but cool as high pressure over northern Manitoba maintains a northeast flow of dry cool air across southern Manitoba. A developing storm system over the central US plains states threatens to bring some rain across southern Manitoba early next week but most guidance is suggesting this  area of precipitation will stay mainly south of the international border.  If so, that would mean generally dry weather next week along with near normal temperatures.  Sustained warmth however still appears to be delayed in arriving here as the upper flow keeps bringing spells of below normal temperatures over central and eastern Canada.                

Fire risk across Canada shows extreme
fire danger across western Canada (CBC image)
Meanwhile, it's a different story over western Canada which has been experiencing an exceptionally warm and dry spring after a warm dry winter. Yesterday saw over two dozen record highs set in Alberta including 26C in Edmonton, and a sizzling 29.4C in Grand Prairie which tied its all time April maximum set back in 1977.  Conditions have been extremely dry out west thanks to a persistent upper ridge over western North America. Calgary for example has seen only 0.6 mm precipitation this month, just 4% of normal and only 7.4 mm since Feb 1st (17% of normal). The dry conditions have led to an extreme fire risk across much of the province as well as parts of Saskatchewan. Hopefully, they get some much needed rain over the next few weeks otherwise forest and grass fires will become an increasing threat over the west.