Friday, December 11, 2009

Cold.. and getting colder - Bitter windchills developing this weekend

If you think it's cold out there, wait until this weekend. A bitterly cold Arctic airmass over northern SK will push into southern MB over the weekend, bringing even colder air along with bitter windchills to southern MB by Saturday evening into Sunday. Northwest winds will begin to increase Saturday afternoon, and increase up to 30 km/h Saturday night into Sunday. Temperatures will drop to the minus 30C mark Saturday night and only recover to the mid minus 20s on Sunday. Unlike the past week however, windchills will be more of a factor, with windchills in the minus 40 to minus 45 range Saturday night into Sunday. Brisk west winds and bitter windchills are expected to continue Monday into Tuesday.


  1. As you can see currently on the EC website there are weather warnings all over the map, and covering most of Manitoba, most of them being windchill warnings/blizzard warnings. These windchills are getting pretty extreme, getting close to the bone-chilling mark of -60C! As said in the other thread in Lynn Lake the low tonight is -43C with a wind chill of -56C! Rob, do you know what the coldest windchill ever recorded in Manitoba was, this must be getting pretty close unfortunately.

  2. Interesting to note that arctic air did not get much farther south than the northern tier of counties in the US (or US highway 2) behind that colorado type low. Minnesota and the dakotas have seen a nice recovery of temps around polar or pacific high building in behind the departing system.

    Already up to -10 C at Fargo in that nice return flow.. we should continue warming this evening until the flow switches to westerly. Its sad to think we have pretty much seen the extent of warming up here before the next push of arctic air.

    Deep layered arctic airmass associated with upper low rotates thru N Manitoba as mentioned... arctic air oozes south thru the province, setting up a strong barolclinic zone along the international border by Sunday morning. 850 hPa temps of -23 C progged on NAM over YWG. Winds will be high enough to prevent inversion from setting up however, so hopefully temps do not tank enough to get ridiculous windchills.

    Looks like a frigid morning on Sunday and Monday from Edmonton thru Saskatoon as shallow inversion under arctic high sets up. Areas that have good snowcover will easily drop into the -40s. As this airmass slowly migrates eastwards, it will likely moderate somewhat due to limited snowcover. Looks like areas south of US highway 2 may once again escape with just a glancing blow of arctic air... but I guess still cold enough for NWS Dan in Grand Forks lol.

  3. Don't have the official provincial stats.. but I suspect the coldest windchill would have been recorded at Churchill. According to Climate Data online, their coldest windchill was -64 recorded during a blizzard on January 18 1975. Temperatures at the time were -40C with sustained NW winds of 50-60 km/h. I don't think Lynn Lake will approach those awful conditions tonight..

  4. Rob and Mr. Farms,

    I'll add a line into our script and check for the coldest wind chill ever in Manitoba in our wind chill climatology database.

  5. Alright, quickly ran it and here's what I got. Top 3 coldest wind chills in Manitoba:

    Number 3: Lynn Lake, -61.68C on January 29, 1971 at 06:00 UTC.

    Number 2: Thompson, -63.45C on January 3, 1968 at 09:00 UTC.

    Number 1: Churchill, -64.42C on January 18, 1975 at 20:00 UTC.

  6. The coldest wind chill in Winnipeg
    was -57.1 on February 1st, 1996 at 8:00 AM. The temperature was -41.4°C and the wind was 19 km/h. Although it is a common error, when written, wind chill should not be followed by the degree symbol or the letter C. That is reserved for the temperature only. For example, the current temperature is -16.2°C and the wind chill is -23.

  7. Thanks for the stats bazokajoe..

    Winds are starting to pick up out there this afternoon.. up to 22 km/h now at the airport. Looks like those 15 km/h winds in the forecast for Winnipeg today and tonight are 5-10 km/h too light based on upstream observations.. which is going to impact on the windchill forecast. Either way, it's getting to be bitterly cold out there.. bundle up!