50 years ago today in 1958, an unseasonably strong late season blizzard struck southern MB including Winnipeg, bringing 5 to 10 cm of snow, powerful wind gusts to 100 km/h or more, and record low temperatures. Winnipeg set a record low temperature of -13.3C that day, less than 24 hours after reaching a mild 15C the day before.
In Winnipeg, the cold front pushed through by 2 am that morning, sending temperatures of +4 to below freezing. By 6 am, the temperature was down to -8C and snow started to fall with winds increasing from the northwest. By 10 am, visibilities were down to 400 metres in snow and blowing snow, and temperatures had dropped even further to a record cold -13C. From noon to 4 pm, NW winds of 60 gusting over 80 km/h were giving blizzard conditions with visibilities down to 200 m at best. Temperatures were exceptionally cold, rising to only -11c by 4 pm (some 25 degrees colder than the day before) with windchills of -25 or lower. By 6 pm the blizzard was lifting, with skies clearing by 8 pm.
What a day that must have been! After hitting 15C on the 27th, much of southern MB would be hit with a severe blizzard the following day with almost January like weather. Wind gusts up to 87 km/h were reported in Winnipeg that day, with 100-105 km/h gusts around Portage La Prairie. The afternoon high of -8.3C in Winnipeg is the coldest ever for so late in the year, and is unequaled for its late season severity. I wonder what the forecast was calling for back then, and how did residents cope with such a drastic change in the weather?