Another Alberta clipper system is forecast to spread an area of snow across southern Manitoba Wednesday evening reaching Winnipeg sometime Wednesday night, just as we usher in the new year. The snow is expected to continue into Thursday morning before tapering off by afternoon. Early snowfall projections with this system are in the 5-10 cm range. Note that the system will also be accompanied by brisk southeast winds ahead of it Wednesday evening, and gusty northwesterly winds behind it on Thursday, so blowing and drifting snow may be a problem in addition to the snowfall.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
A storm system moving across the Northern Plain states is spreading an area of snow through North Dakota and southwest MB today. This area of snow will slowly move eastward tonight and persist through Saturday and Saturday night over North Dakota and southern MB. A snowfall warning has been issued for areas along the US border from Killarney through Emerson to Steinbach and Vita for up to 15 cm of snow by Saturday evening. Here in Winnipeg, we will still see snow out of this system tonight and Saturday, with amounts up to 10 cm expected by Saturday evening.
Once again, conditions are expected to be worse south of the border. Like last weekend, this will mean difficult travel conditions if you're heading into North Dakota or northern Minnesota, although this event should not be as severe as last weekend's blizzard in those areas. Nevertheless, winter storm warnings have been issued for North Dakota and northern Minnesota for snowfalls of 15 to 25 cm tonight through Saturday along with gusty winds and blowing snow through Saturday night. People planning to travel to the States this weekend should be prepared for poor driving conditions and allow extra time to reach their destination.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The cold is here to stay for awhile, but at least the wind is nice and light today which will make those -20ish temperatures more bearable. In fact, with bright sunshine and afternoon highs near -21C, it won't feel too bad at all out there today. For tonight, a weak system from Alberta will cross southern MB bringing some light snow to the area, with a dusting to 2 cm possible in most localities including Winnipeg. Behind the system, northerly winds of 20 km/h will develop for Thursday, with temperatures in the mid minus 20s producing windchills in the minus 35 to minus 38 range (still shy of -40 warning level) Winds should drop off again Friday so windchills warnings may not be necessary for the rest of the week over much of southern MB. On Saturday, a storm system over the central Plains will bring an area of snow over the Dakotas into southern MB. Like last weekend's storm, the bulk of the snowfall with this next storm system is expected to remain south of the border, however it's possible parts of southern MB could see 5-10 cm on Saturday. Unfortunately, gusty northerly winds are forecast behind this system for Sunday with temperatures in the mid minus 20s and windchills likely in the -40 to -45 warning range again. Below normal temperatures are expected to continue through the first part of next week, with models hinting at some moderation by Christmas.
Note that Winnipeg has had a daily maximum temperature below -20C since Sunday Dec 14th. With forecast highs below -20C for the next 5 days, it's possible we may go 10 straight days before we crack the -20C mark again. This would be the longest such streak for a December in recent memory. (longest -20C streak for a December in Winnipeg was 15 straight days from Dec 11-25 1879, during Winnipeg's coldest December on record)
Monday, December 15, 2008
Remember that windchill is not an actual temperature, but rather a measure of the cooling rate of the atmosphere based on the temperature and windspeed. Your body loses heat more quickly when a wind is present.. the faster the wind, the more rapidly you lose heat. For more details on this windchill issue, read my entry from last winter explaining the windchill factor.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The main story over the next few days will be the bitter cold, with strong winds today producing extreme windchills of -40 to -45. At these values, frostbite is possible within 10 minutes. Winds will ease somewhat Monday and Tuesday, but with bitter cold temperatures continuing (-25 to -35C), wind chills will be an issue through much of the week.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Models continue to show Winnipeg will on the northern edge of the heaviest snow from this system with the bulk of the snow (15-25 cm or more) falling through the Dakotas and northern Minnesota into NW Ontario. Remember though, with storms like this, it's not the total amount of snow that's the problem.. it's the wind in combination with falling snow that creates the problems with blowing and drifting. So it's important not to focus solely on the snow amounts with this system (although that will certainly be a factor), but rather the winds, poor visibilities and extreme windchills.
Winds will be increasing by Saturday evening across southern MB with snow and strong winds continuing Saturday night through Sunday. As a result, there will be extensive blowing and drifting snow Sunday especially through the Red River valley and open areas along the US border with blizzard conditions possible. The Hwy 75 corridor will likely be very bad especially from south of Winnipeg down to Emerson where blizzard conditions are possible Sunday. Travel into the States this weekend is not advised due to this dangerous storm which will likely be shutting down highways across the Dakotas, and possibly parts of southern MB as well. Add to that bone-chilling wind chills of -40 or lower, and you have yourselves a serious winter storm. Get ready folks, this will make for an interesting end to the weekend..
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
The weather looks cold for the next couple of weeks at least as a large Arctic airmass spreads over the Prairies. For this week, the cold weather will be briefly moderated somewhat by occasional weak Alberta clipper systems tracking across the southern Prairies from the west. Across southern MB, one of these clipper systems is forecast to track through on Wednesday followed by another one on Friday. Each of these systems will spread cloud and some snow to southern MB bringing about 2-5 cm with each system. Still, these minor amounts in combination with the cold temperatures will make for icy road conditions through the upcoming week. Behind these systems will be a reinforcement of Arctic air into southern MB, especially over the weekend into next week with daily highs in the minus 20s and lows in the minus 30s.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
EC's 3 month outlook is available on EC's Weatheroffice website at this site. NOTE: For monthly and seasonal outlooks, I highly recommend you look at the probabilistic outlook map rather than the deterministic outlook map. The deterministic maps do not accurately reflect the true output of the climate models, which is better reflected by the more informative probabilistic maps. The probabilistic maps more accurately indicate where the climate models are showing the best agreement for above or below normal conditions occurring, and where there is the most disagreement. This measure of uncertainty is not indicated on the deterministic maps which make them subject to greater misinterpretation.
Monday, December 01, 2008
A strong Alberta clipper system is moving across northern SK today ushering in a gusty southwest flow of very mild Pacific air over southern AB and southern SK. Temperatures have soared into the mid teens over southern AB with several record highs established for December 1st. This warm airmass will be moving towards southern MB over the next 24 hours, but the bulk of the mild air will be bypassing to the south of Winnipeg into the Dakotas overnight. Even so, gusty south winds tonight of 40-60 km/h will bring rising temperatures overnight to the Red River valley, with temperatures expected to climb towards the freezing mark by daybreak. In fact, there's a chance we may get above zero (+1 to +3C) for a brief period early Tuesday morning as our winds shift into the west and tap some of the retreating mild airmass over southern SK. Regardless, the mild temperatures will be short lived as strong northwest winds develop behind the clipper system Tuesday, and bring increasingly colder air through the day. So watch for temperatures to fall Tuesday, especially in the afternoon and evening as those northwest winds pick up.
As for precipitation with this system, it looks like Winnipeg may get a period of snow tonight with a risk of freezing rain or ice pellets overnight as the warm front approaches. The bulk of the snow should remain north of Winnipeg through the Interlake and central MB, but we could see a couple of cm tonight. If any freezing precipitation develops, the best chance will be between 10 pm and 4 am, but amounts should be light. Nonetheless, road conditions could be on the slick side Tuesday morning as this system moves through with some mixed precipitation and near freezing temperatures. Look for windy and colder conditions by Tuesday afternoon with occasional flurries giving a dusting to 2 cm over Winnipeg and the Red River valley.
Overall, the month finished over a degree above normal with a mean temperature of -4.2C at the airport (-3.2C at my site) vs a long term November average of -5.3C. The month began on a very mild note, with a record high of 18.8C on the 3rd.. the warmest November day in Winnipeg since Nov 5th 1975 when we hit 23.9C (all time November high). The mild start and snowfree ground had golfers enjoying some late season golf through Nov 4th, with no hint of winter like weather. That would change soon enough however as a storm system tracking through from the Dakotas on Nov 6th-7th brought a messy mix of rain, freezing rain, ice pellets and snow to the Red River valley. The storm brought some 40-70 mm of rain and ice pellets to the southern Red River valley bringing high water levels to the Red River on the heels of a wetter than normal fall. By the morning of the 7th, Winnipeg and much of the western Red River valley had been transformed into a winter wonderland, with about 5-8 cm of snow falling in Winnipeg and heavier amounts of 15-25 cm west of the city from Pilot Mound through Portage. Snow has remained on the ground since with a month end snowcover of 5 cm in Winnipeg. Areas further south and east of Winnipeg however saw much less snow with this storm system, and enjoyed snowfree grounds through the end of the month.
After the 7th, the weather turned quiet and uneventful with some minor snowfalls now and then but little in the way of high impact weather. A mid month cold snap brought the month's coldest temperature of -19C on the 21st but that was followed by mild and dry conditions to end the month. The month finished with about 15 cm of snow at my site, slightly less than an average November monthly snowfall of 21 cm.
Overall, an early tease of winter, but a mild and quiet month overall.