Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Weather station issues

After 14 years of reliable service, It looks like my trusty Davis Vantage Pro weather station is starting to show its age. I'm experiencing more frequent data transmission problems which means current weather data is not getting uploaded to my website. The issue appears to be a failure with the super-capacitor in the sensor suite (ISS) which helps to power the unit when the solar panel is not operating (nighttime, cloudy skies, weak sun)  As a result, I only get data during bright sunlight hours wen the solar panel is providing power to the unit.  This ISS super-capacitor needs to be replaced (which is a bit of work) or I just might bite the bullet and upgrade to a new weather station altogether (after 14 years, it may be time)  In the meantime, I will try to keep the station running on backup batteries until I figure out what to do with it. If anyone has experience or advice on repairing the super-capacitor on the Davis Vantage Pro ISS, let me know.        

Monday, May 04, 2015

Blog on haitus for awhile


I'm not finding the time to update this blog as frequently as I have in the past, so I'm just going to suspend the blog for awhile until I can find more free time to devote to it. I may post some entries from time to time, but they won't be on a regular basis. I thank everyone for their loyal following and participation, and I hope to return to more frequent updates in the fall. Until then, you can follow some excellent weather blogs at A Weather Moment or Winnipeg Weather for current local weather information and updates. 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Warm and windy Wednesday.. Burn ban in effect

A low pressure system tracking into southern Saskatchewan will bring a strengthening southerly wind across southern MB Wednesday , especially through Winnipeg and the Red River valley.  Southerly winds will increase to 40 or 50 km/h by mid morning with gusts to 70 or possibly 80 km/h by midday into the afternoon. The windy conditions will be accompanied by warm temperatures in the low 20s, and very low humidities of 15 to 20% leading to dangerous fire weather conditions.  Local grass or brush fires are possible, and a burning ban is in effect for much of southern and eastern MB. The strong winds may also lead to areas of blowing dust as dry topsoil gets blown around by the gusty winds.  Once winter snow cover is gone, April becomes a prime month for grass fires and blowing dust in the Prairies as strong gusty winds can combine with dry surface conditions to help promote fires and drifting topsoil. Increasing dewpoints, surface moisture, rainfall, and leaf/crop green-up in May and June help to reduce the threat of grass fires and blowing dust as the growing season progresses. However, grass fires can also flare up in the fall.. particularly in October at the end of the growing season and before the first snows of winter.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Chilly start to April

Woodlands radar at 11:50 am shows
squall line of heavy snow heading
towards Winnipeg from the northwest 
Winnipeg about half an hour later. Visibility
dropped to near zero in heavy snow for about
30 minutes leaving about 2 cm of fresh snow
(photo from @kirastorm)
After a springlike first day of April that saw temperatures climb to 16C in Winnipeg, the weather turned decidedly winterlike today across southern MB as a sharp cold front sliced across the region this morning, ushering in a strong push of Arctic air today. The front was accompanied by periods of snow, including a band that tracked across the city over the lunch hour producing near whiteout conditions in heavy snow, as well as gusty north winds and temperatures near-5C. The band gave a quick coating of about 2-3 cm of snow that whitened the bare landscape. Skies cleared by late afternoon, but that will allow temperatures to drop to well below normal values tonight as an Arctic ridge of high pressure builds southward. Overnight lows of -14C are forecast for Winnipeg, some 10C below normal for early April. (it's been worse though.. record low for April 3rd is a frigid -27.8C in 1932)  Unfortunately, it looks like we'll be locked in a cold pattern into early next week before we start seeing some moderation towards normal values later in the week. That will mean daytime highs struggling to get above freezing or the low single digits over the next few days, with lows in the -10C range. Luckily, no major snowfall is expected during this cold snap, with only some minor dustings expected from time to time as weak systems pass through. Look at the bright side.. this time last year, we still had 40+ cm of snow on the ground, and we wouldn't see bare ground until April 20th!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Some wintery weather for the first week of spring..

After a spring like end to winter this year, old man winter will be making a return visit this week as a series of weather systems track across the southern Prairies and northern Plains states. The first system tonight is fairly weak, and is bringing some snow to southern Saskatchewan as of this (Sunday) evening. This area of snow will track across southwest Manitoba and the Riding Mtns tonight into the Red River valley overnight into Monday morning. Generally 2-4 cm of snow is possible with this disturbance, with a coating of 1-2 cm possible for Winnipeg overnight into Monday morning. Not a lot of snow.. but our first taste of the white stuff in over two weeks for the Monday morning commute.. so be prepared for it (roads in the city should just be wet rather than snow covered, but there could be some slippery sections, especially outside the city) 

Forecast probabilities of snowfall 10+ cm
Tuesday into Wednesday Mar 24-25th

Things get more interesting Tuesday into Wednesday as a stronger storm system tracks across Montana into North Dakota. This system is forecast to spread an area of heavier snow over southern Saskatchewan Tuesday which will be spreading into SW Manitoba, western Parklands and Interlake areas by Tuesday afternoon/evening. Temperatures will be warmer (above freezing) over Winnipeg and the RRV as well as SE Manitoba, so precipitation will likely begin as rainshowers later Tuesday before changing over to snow Tuesday night into Wednesday.  Snow is expected to continue much of Wednesday before tapering off Wednesday night. Snowfall amounts with this system will vary widely across southern MB, but at this time it appears the bulk of snow will be over the Riding Mtns and Interlake areas (possibly 10-20 cm) with lesser amounts over the RRV and SE MB (5-10 cm?). However, changes in the storm path and intensity could result in heavier amounts elsewhere. Stay tuned on this developing storm system as it brings a potentially significant snowfall over portions of southern Manitoba by mid week.

This photo montage from @JoshWright nicely chronicles
progression of snowcover in Winnipeg area over
the past couple of weeks

Storm snowfall update: (as of 9 am March 25th) 

Winnipeg ................ 5 cm
Portage La Prairie .... 5-10 cm
Brandon .................. 6 cm
Steinbach ................ 5 cm

Dauphin .............  15-25 cm
Rossburn ............. 20 cm
McCReary ........... 18 cm
Hodgson .............. 18 cm
Gilbert Plains ........ 15 cm
Neepawa ............. 15 cm
Roblin .................. 14 cm
Rivers ................... 10 cm
Miami ..................... 6 cm
Pinawa .................... 5 cm
Morris .................... 2 cm