Monday, April 30, 2007

Minimal rainfall today

Well it looks like the anticipated rainfall for today is going to be a lot less widespread and weaker than originally thought. Some organized showers are moving through north of the Riding Mtns into the Interlake today with 5 to 10 mm possible while a few showers and some scattered thunderstorms are moving across ND to our south. In between these two areas.. only scattered light showers are expected with perhaps a couple of mm of rain passing through much of southern MB today.. hardly enough to make a difference to soil moisture levels. After that, it looks warm and dry through the upcoming week again. Long range models are hinting at the possibility of some heavier rainfall next weekend over southern MB, but this is still a long ways off to have any confidence at this point. So relief from the current dry spell is still a ways away yet.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Summerlike Saturday

Looks like a beautiful Saturday shaping up over Southern MB and the Red River valley with plenty of sunshine and a balmy southwest flow sending temperatures up to the 25C mark in many localities including Winnipeg. The sunny skies, low humidity and dry soil conditions along with a favourable southwest flow will make for ideal conditions for a warm day, with temperatures of 27C possible along the western Red River valley from Portage through Morden to Gretna and Emerson. Should be a beauty for enjoying the outdoors.. although area farmers are likely not enjoying this sunny dry weather. We sure could use some rain to start replenishing soil moisture levels which are getting pretty low in areas. After another sunny dry day Sunday, it appears that southern MB may see some rainfall on Monday as a disturbance passes through the area with showers and possible thunderstorms. Models are indicating a general rainfall of 5 to 15 mm over southern MB, with locally higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. Not a drought buster.. but anything will help at this point!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Lack of rain creating grass fires around Winnipeg

The lack of rain over the past 3 weeks along with increasing temperatures, low humidity and abundant sunshine is creating very dry surface conditions over the Red River valley and southern MB, with an increasing occurrence of grass fires in recent days. Yesterday there were several fires around Winnipeg, especially along Hwy 75 just south of the city between St Adolphe and St Norbert which created large smoke plumes that drifted across the highway. After about 10 mm of rain and wet snow that fell in Winnipeg on April 1st, precipitation has been virtually non-existent since then, with only about 1 mm or so in the past 25 days. This has heightened the concern of another dry growing season developing in southern MB, coming off one of the driest summers on record last year. Last year, moist soil conditions at the beginning of the growing season tempered the effects of a dry growing season and minimized the impact on crops. If similar dryness occurs this year however, the effects on agriculture will be much more serious since soil moisture levels are starting off so dry this year compared to 2006.

And it appears that the dry conditions will continue for the next several days at least. There's a chance of some showers overnight into Friday morning, but amounts are not expected to be significant (far from the "relief" that the local paper was suggesting) After that, it looks warm and dry through the weekend before the next chance of rain early next week. There are some signs in the long range models of a possible change to more unsettled conditions developing over southern MB for the beginning of May (which makes sense given that the kids soccer season is starting!) , but at this point, relief from the dry weather is still a ways away.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Scattered thunderstorms developing over Southern MB..

An almost summerlike evening out there this evening, with temperatures still in the upper teens as of 9 pm. Latest radar even shows some scattered thunderstorms developing this evening over southern MB, with one cell near Morden and another east of Steinbach (saw lightning flashes to my southeast) . Tops are around 25000 feet, and cells are moving to the northnortheast at 50 km/h. Could see our first thunderstorm of the season tonight here in Winnipeg!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A little rain tonight.. more rain on weekend..

It's been nice and dry over the past 2-3 weeks over Southern MB, with only 1 mm of rain since April 1st in Winnipeg along with plenty of sunshine. The dry weather along with strengthening April sunshine and low humidity has allowed the ground to dry out quickly.. with even some grass fires reported around Winnipeg in recent days. So some rainfall would probably be welcome by this point to start replenishing soil moisture levels, especially in light of last year's record dry summer. We could see some rainfall overnight tonight into Friday morning as a band of showers from North Dakota moves northward.. but rainfall amounts will be minor, perhaps 1 or 2 mm. The showers will move off Friday morning making way for another sunny mild day Friday with temperatures near the 20 degree mark. Saturday will also be dry and mild, but we could see some more significant rainfall Saturday night into Sunday as an area of showers and thunderstorms from the Dakotas moves into the Red River valley with local rainfall amounts of 15-25 mm possible.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Beautiful day

A beauty day out there.. nothing but sunshine and balmy southerly breezes sending temperatures into the mid to upper teens today. Currently 11c as of 11 am here in Winnipeg, and we should climb to around 18C this afternoon.. the warmest day of 2007 so far and the mildest we've been here since last October 7 when we hit 24C. By the way, the record high for Winnipeg today is 24C set just last year during our 2nd warmest April on record.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Our first April showers..

Winnipeg had its first "April showers" today as a line of convective cloud (towering cumulus) moved through this afternoon around 2:30-3 pm (see satellite image). Didn't bring much rain.. only a trace or so at my place.. but it was nice to see the first signs of convection today.. signs that thunderstorm season is not too far away! I must admit though I wouldn't mind another few weeks of sunny dry warm weather to enjoy before our summer storm season starts!

Nice weekend on tap

Looks like a nice spring weekend coming up for Winnipeg and southern MB, with sunny skies and temperatures of 13 to 15C. Winds should be light, especially Saturday which will make those temperatures feel even nicer, given that strengthening April sunshine. Maybe it'll be enough to start melting the last of those snowbanks still on my lawn! Whatever the case, the weather up here this weekend will be a lot nicer than down in Eastern Ontario and New England this weekend, where a major nor'easter is forecast to bring heavy rain and strong winds along the Atlantic coast, with heavy wet snow inland over the Applachians and interior New England, possibly extending back into eastern Ontario as well. Better them than us!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

2006-07 Snowfall Stats

As we wind up the snow season, I thought I'd post some preliminary snowfall statistics for Winnipeg up to the end of March as measured at my site in Charleswood. Overall, we had a little more snow than normal this past winter, but mostly due to one major snowfall at the end of December. Otherwise, it's been pretty average. As we Winnipegers know all too well however, snow season doesn't end until May around here, so these stats are not final yet(but let's hope they are!)


OCT 2006....... 19.4 cm ......... 5.0 cm ......... +14.4 cm
NOV 2006...... 20.4 cm .......... 21.4 cm ........ - 1.0 cm
DEC 2006 ..... 36.8 cm .......... 19.8 cm ........ +17.0 cm
JAN 2007 ...... 15.0 cm ......... 23.1 cm ........ - 8.1 cm
FEB 2007....... 21.0 cm ......... 14.2 cm ........ + 6.8 cm
MAR 2007...... 7.6 cm ........... 15.8 cm ........ - 8.2 cm

TOTAL......... 120.2 cm ......... 99.3 cm ........ +20.9 cm

(*NORMAL refers to average based on 1971-2000 period)

First measureable snow .................... Oct 10th (1.0 cm)
Beginning of persistent snow cover.... Nov 27 2006
Loss of persistent snowcover ............. Mar 28 2007
Deepest snowcover ........................... 51 cm (Mar 2, 3)
Most snow in 24 hours ...................... 29 cm (Dec 29-30)

Red River floodway opens

Water began flowing in the Red River floodway for the first time this year at about 9:30 this morning after an ice jam at the gates cleared on its own overnight.

The Red is expected to crest in Winnipeg in the next couple of days at about 18 feet above winter ice levels. That’s slightly higher than flood forecasters predicted earlier, but no where near high enough to cause much flooding. Only about a dozen homes will need to sandbag as a precaution.

The ice jam threatened to delay the raising of the floodway gates on the Red River at St. Norbert, and officials from Water Stewardship were rushing in heavy equipment to clear the large pans of ice overnight. But the pack at the floodway’s inlet moved on its own.

From the Winnipeg Free Press

Manitoba Flood Forecasting Reports
North Dakota Flood Forecast Maps

Monday, April 02, 2007

Winter's back!

Well, old man winter ain't dead yet. A sprawling Arctic airmass has pushed into the Prairies and will likely persist through the rest of the week. Temperatures in Southern MB over the next few days will average about 10 degrees below normal, with temperatures remaining below freezing right through Saturday. The good news is that no major storm systems are expected through the period so there shouldn't be any significant snowfall or freezing rain to contend with, at least not here in southern MB. Further south, it's a different story as a strong winter storm moves through the Dakotas and Minnesota tonight through tomorrow with 10 to 20 cm of snow possible from North Dakota into central Minnesota (including Grand Forks) Long range models are showing signs of milder weather returning by the end of the Easter holiday weekend into next week.