Thursday, January 15, 2009

Major warmup this weekend

The eagerly anticipated warmup has started to move into Alberta and SW Saskatchewan today with afternoon temperatures of +7C in Calgary, +3C in Edmonton, and -5C in Swift Current. The mild Pacific airmass will continue to spread across Saskatchewan on Friday with highs forecast to reach the freezing mark in Saskatoon and Regina.. a remarkable turnaround from Regina’s -40C reading earlier this morning. For southern MB, we can expect one more cold night tonight with lows around -30 (colder to the southeast), and windchills near -40.. then Friday will be a transition day as brisk southerly winds start to flush out the cold Arctic air. Temperatures will still be cold Friday, especially over the Red River valley and SE MB, gradually moderating into the minus teens by evening. Friday night, a weak system will drop through from northern MB giving us some light snow with steady or rising temperatures. On Saturday, a developing westerly flow will finally start to bring in some of that mild Pacific air into southern MB, with highs climbing into the minus single digits. Even milder conditions are expected Sunday through Tuesday with daily highs around the freezing mark. So make sure you’re stocked up on washer fluid.. a nice thaw is on the way, at least for a few a days. Colder conditions are likely by the middle to end of next week.


  1. Rob, your opinion please. E.C. is forecasting 0 and +1 for Sunday and Monday respectively. NWS is forecasting 24 and 25 for the same 2 days for Pembina N.D. (as close to Winnipeg as they forecast). If history is a guide E.C. tends to be a bit optimistic but wondering your view (after what we've endured recently even 24F will feel tropical)Thanks Rob

  2. Mark.. I think EC's forecasts look pretty good for Sunday and Monday. We should be getting a westerly flow those days with lots of mild Pacific air flooding in over the Prairies. Even with all the snow on the ground, I think we should still make it to the freezing/melting mark..

    The key will be getting that westerly wind to develop at the surface. If winds remain light here in the valley, then NWS values will likely verify better. Either way.. it'll be a LOT better than what we've had this week!

  3. Latest guidance has backed off a bit on the warming over southern MB this weekend.. with highs of -3 Saturday and -7 Sunday. Looks like the warm frontal trough stalls over western MB and we stay in the mixing zone through the weekend instead of picking up that westerly flow. Still a lot nicer than what we've had..but not as dramatic a warming as earlier thought.

    Near freezing highs still possible for Monday and Tuesday as we finally get into that westerly flow..

  4. Rob where is this snow comming from? Is it developing from the air warming? A look of the radar shows nothing.

  5. Daryl..

    This snow is falling out of low level cloud and is occurring below the resolution of the radar to pick up. Probably being enhanced by some higher cloud and lift moving over us right now..

  6. Oh ok that makes a little more sense even though the snow appears very light it will have to do this a long time to add up to 2cm. Thanks

  7. Looks like we will pick up a 2 cm of snow today cause the radar returns are looking more impressive than they were last night!

    Record highs should be broken across Alberta today!
    The record warmth will just not make it as far as the Red River Valley!
    Place like Portage la Prairie could be 0 C while Winnipeg could be -7 !!

  8. Right you were Daniel!

    Portage got to +1C while the Winnipeg airport only got to -7C. CWB network shows the milder air got as far east as Elm Creek with a high of -0.6C while just next door to the east in Fannystelle, it never got above -6C. Looks like the warm front will retreat to the west Sunday, before it moves east of us on Monday, getting us up to that freezing mark.

    That warm air is well entrenched to the west as far north as Inuvik which hit an all time January high of +7C today! An amazing +12C in Fort Simpson NWT today as well!

  9. The models really misplaced the warm front. They showed 0 degrees for Winnipeg today. Even though I took the temperature below all the models (-2C), it still wasn't low enough. Hopefully we get to 0C at least once, that way we can claim a January thaw.

    Good Forecast Daniel!

  10. Any precipitation that falls between Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening over the RRV, and most of southern MB will almost certainly be freezing rain. The most extreme potential exists on Wednesday morning. 850mb temperature is +6-8C, and surface temperature is -8 to -12.

    Would this setup favor freezing rain or ice pellets?

  11. that is a good question~
    I suspect that freezing rain cause the upper levels are so warm!

    Did anyone see the high temperature for Calgary for tomorrow~

    I see a major cold front is due in here by end of the week~

  12. After a bit of research it appears this will be all freezing rain. Ice pellets require a higher melting level (800mb), and freezing temperature at 850mb and lower.

    The melting temperatures will occur as low as 925mb, therefore freezing rain is the only likely outcome.