Friday, February 25, 2011

Another cold night.. some moderation Sunday but generally colder than normal weather through start of March

Another cold night is on tap over southern Manitoba as a ridge of Arctic high pressure over the Dakotas maintains clear skies and below normal temperatures over the area. Temperatures will likely drop to the -30C mark once again over the Red River valley overnight into Saturday morning with south to southwest winds of 15 to 20 km/h producing wind chills near minus 40 overnight. On Saturday, temperatures will start to moderate but gusty south winds will make it feel uncomfortably cold in the Red River valley. A frontal trough will pass through Saturday night with clouds and some light snow, which will be followed by milder conditions Sunday with highs around -5c along with lighter winds. Colder weather will follow for Monday with some snow possible Monday night (1-3 cm possible for southern MB including Winnipeg) Below normal temperatures will continue through the first week of March with additional snow possible by the end of the week. Old Man Winter is hanging on tough this year!


  1. I am sick of living in the Prairies. Can't wait to move to S. Ontario in 2012. I'm also sick of the excuses I hear from folk here, defending 'their' climate with silly statements like:

    1. It's not dreary, foggy and dark like ON!
    -actually, Dec and Jan are pretty dark and dreary here. And ON has longer days, so the net difference is zero.

    2. But it's a dry cold!
    - don't wear cotton clothes in winter and all types of cold are the same. And don't tell me that -30 as a dry cold is tolerable. It's not.

    3. There's snow on the ground all winter, it's beautiful!
    - it's a GOOD thing to have snow on the ground all winter?!?!?! Not in my books!

    4. Well, the summers are nice.
    -those few summers that aren't frosty in June are full of mosquitoes. And the nights are always chilly.

    Need more proof? Windsor's lowest temp. in March 2010 matched that of June 2009 in Winnipeg: minus five Celsius.

  2. CBC at 5pm Sunday momentarily as warm as -10
    EC now f'casts -2
    and Rob -5
    Don't blink or you'll miss it.

    That should change the mind of any wannabe Detroit southern suburbanite

  3. Sakatchewan is releasing Souris River water flooding North Dakota, ND has already released water which is flooding downstream (eventually Manitoba)and we have a windchill and flood warnings out for the same area.

    Trust someone is coordinating this.
    Warning on my name or

  4. Where else but the prairies would you go for a water fight at -40C

  5. I hear ya Andy!
    Sometimes I question what I'm still doing here...LOL!!

  6. Smell ya later Andy! Dont need more negative nellies in this province....enjoy the smog in s. Ont!

  7. Looks like March is going to be cold.
    How would cold into April then a fast warmup (melt) affect the flood outlook, if we had at or below normal precip?

  8. Daniel p you were the 1st one in nov to want the (big dump to happen)! it's happening were coming in a cycle

  9. Chris that is addressed at the NWS Grand Forks Website Feb 24 update on my name or see

  10. Rob, I cannot believe how cold the first part of March is going to be!!
    It looks like a couple of snow events too!
    It's gonna look and fell like January again....*sigh*!!

  11. Yeah.. no signs of an early spring this year. Not like last year when winter was over by the end of February. We didn't have a high below -10C after Feb 24th, we didn't go below -20C after March 1st, only one day of snow all of March (2 cm), and snowcover was gone by the 16th. If only all our winters were as short as last years! :)

  12. Hey Andy don't the door hit you on your way out. See yah!!!

  13. Rob can you please tell Andrew why we love Manitoba ! and yes it is a long stint this winter. but,this only makes us appreciate the summer months that much more PS.. I think you should remove any blog with negativity!and Andrew is not a local so we should not have to read such profanity... %)!!Sorry Rob I know this site is not about complaining!!! weather facts and statements, but he started 1st

  14. I lived in Winnipeg all my's not that bad (rolls his eyes)!! :>)

  15. Posters like Andy deserve all the flak they are getting. We are all hear to learn and comment on the amazingly extreme weather we have here, but its negative attitudes like Andy's that ruin it. He has not dome his homework - we do have more sunshine in S. Man than S. Ont. Its all about embracing the climate that you are in!

  16. If this is a blog full of Xtreme weather worshippers Andy won't get any sympathy here..or will he?
    Seems Southrn Ontario has more than its share of X events especially of Lightning. Snow storms in that SO belt between the lakes puts everything we have here to shame most winters., As for cold, Ottawa is as cold as it gets (no pun intended).. here? Wx/wise not hot air.

    And Tornados....ask the same people snowed in every winter in Barrie or Grand Bend or Orangeville.

  17. Where is the Lightning capital of Canada.

  18. Being a native of Southern Ontario (born and raised in the beautiful Niagara Peninsula) I can understand Andy's frustration with southern Manitoba's climate. I get fed up with it too sometimes.. but overall, it's not as bad as people think. Winters here, although still too long for me, are nowhere near as cold or extreme as they used to be, and they are beginning later. Summers have been wetter lately, but we do have some nice dry ones sometimes (like 2006) that can put southern Ontario summers to shame. I love spring here when the snow disappears, and that clear blue sky and sunshine really accelerates the warmth and dries up the soggy grounds from winter snowmelt.

    I do miss the autumns and winter thaws of Southern Ontario.. but I don't miss the haze and smog, and yes, we do get a lot more sun here.. (even in its limited amounts in January)

    Bottom line.. every place has its pluses and minuses with weather. Yes, we may have more minuses than Southern Ontario's climate, but for the majority of the year, the weather here can be as good or better than down south.

  19. Clipper coming through overnight may cause some problems for the morning commute in Winnipeg and surrounding areas. As noted in the blowing snow warning, the bulk of the snowfall is expected north of the city through the Interlake area.. however there may be a period around morning rush hour where Winnipeg will be seeing some snow and gusty winds with poor vsbys in snow and blowing snow, along with plunging temperatures. A cold and blustery start to March!

  20. In like a lion out like a lion

  21. Snow headed for Winnipeg by 3 am.. could get a quick burst of heavy snow with 2 or 3 cm by 6 am along with poor visibilities, along with increasing north winds. Morning commute will be a slippery one.. give yourself extra time on the roadways this morning.

  22. Hi everyone

    Seems as if the northern stream keeps winning....keeps northern ND and southern Manitoba cold but generally dry as all the big storms get forced south into southern SD/southern MN. It does look for cold for another few weeks at least....but would have to think we will get one more decent storm as pattern tries to warm up. Being the winter nut I am I would like one more. It seems as if Grand Forks has been in the snow hole this winter as we have lots of brown grass and dirt showing.

    I personally LOVE our weather up here and would live no where else.

  23. In like a lion out like a lion is right anon....

    Anyone have any stats on the coldest March on record so far?

    I'm thinking this year we will be in the top 5 maybe top 3 for coldest March on record.

    Maybe a warmup late next week but its sketchy at best.

  24. That windchill is just horrible today! Welcome to March!!! LOL!

  25. Is there a link where we get info on monthly temperatures for Jan and Feb of this year

    Just curious to see if we were in fact below normal


  26. A little premature to be talking about the coldest March on record after one day.. but for what its worth, here are the top 10 coldest Marches in Winnipeg since 1873. (30 year normal is -6.1C)

    1899 ..... -16.1
    1877 ..... -15.4
    1883 ..... -15.2
    1880 ..... -14.9
    1888 ..... -14.5
    1876 ..... -14.2
    1923 ..... -14.2
    1955 ..... -13.9
    1965 ..... -13.8
    1890 ..... -13.7
    1893 ..... -13.3

    As you can see, most of our coldest Marches were in the 1800s.. the most recent cold March in the past 10 years was March 2002 with a mean of -11.7C

  27. Anonymous..

    You can get monthly averages for Winnipeg airport from Climate Data online at..

    At Winnipeg airport, January was 1.4C below normal (-19.2C vs -17.8C) while Feb was just 0.5C below normal (-14.1C vs -13.6C)

    You can also look at past summaries on my STATS link.. (under PAST DATA) I have monthly summaries and writeups back to 2002.

  28. Winchill warnings issued for Southern Manitoba! Hopefully this should be the last one for the season....(Yaaaaaa, who am I trying to kid!!!!)

  29. Rob!!
    Read the free press article " U.V reading needed at -19C"???

    The reporter asks why there needs to be a U.V reading when the temperature is so cold??
    Then read the comment section!!!


  30. Thanks to Don and Rob for answering my questions.

    Indeed Rob, it may be premature to discuss the coldest March...but what do you see in the long range?
    I see a consistent 5-10 sometimes more...degrees below normal for this time of year with the exception of the odd day of near normal.
    Call it frustration, I'm sure I'm not the only one (see Andy's post), but when we can't even approach the normal temperature for January in March...mother nature is doing it wrong.
    For anyone willing to challenge the validity of long range forecasts, ALL of the models are agreeing that this March is going to be cold.

  31. So far how do we compare for snow in Feb?

    Are we near a record or are we just less than or normal?

  32. daniel..

    I can't find the article, but I can understand why people would find it odd to hear about the UV index when it's still Arctic cold. The UV index is automatically inserted into the forecast when it's forecast to reach a maximum level of 3 or higher (apparently, that's the minimum level at which some people can start getting skin damage) This is hard coded in the forecast generator, so the forecaster can't remove the UV index even if they wanted to.

    At our latitude, we reach a UV index of 3 by early March, so the forecast will include the UV index (assuming there's sun) regardless of cold it is. I agree it's odd to have UV and windchill in the same forecast, but that's the rules we're forced to live with. Personally, I wouldn't mention UV in the forecast unless it was 4 or more, and no earlier than April 1st. At this time of year, frostbite and windburn are more of a threat to your skin than the sun!

  33. don..

    I recorded 10 cm of snow in February.. slightly below the normal of 14 cm (our least snowiest winter month and driest month of the year on average)

    Year to date snowfall is 127 cm (seasonal norm is 110 cm) Snowdepth is 36 cm. I took a core sample the other day, and it melted down to 102 mm water equivalent.

  34. Wow that's a lot of water in the snow. Nearly a mm per cm of snow.

  35. Should have read nearly a mm per cm of seasonal snowfall

  36. Here is that UV article for those who are interested:

  37. Does that imply there is direct transfer of water vapor to the the snow on the ground without actually snowing, during the ripening process?

  38. May?? explain the 10:1 ratio of snow to precip at EC.

  39. don..

    No, there would be very little water vapour in the air in the winter to add noticeable moisture to the snowpack. The additional moisture would be from snowfall plus perhaps some additional blowing snow from nearby drifts and roofs. Also, we had a couple mm of rain in early February that would have added some moisture. Finally, the core sample itself can vary to some degree depending on where the measurement is taken. Overall though, I would think we have a good 90-100 mm water equivalent in the current snowpack here in Winnipeg, which is pretty much in line with what the SWE maps from NWS were showing over us.

  40. When the systems (in general) passing thru Minneapolis finally move north, will they be similar storm producers for us?

  41. Rob!
    We have not have had a big snowstorm in southern Manitoba this winter season!
    (15-20 cm the biggest???)

    What is your gut feeling on us getting a monster snow before this season is done???

  42. Dan GF: In your Feb 22 post you mentioned your climate prediction colleague seeing something major at the end of March. Can you update us ? Thanks

  43. Hi Mark

    The guy was down at a climate conference in Des Moines Iowa last week. So no update since before he left, and he seems pretty confident about a heavy rain/snow event at the end of the month/early April at about the time he expects the full melting to begin in the southern red river basin. He said it shows up in most all his composites he has been using this year. Sorry cant be more detailed...

    I have been following long range GFS and ECMWF and awaiting to see a shift to a bit milder but stormier pattern for ND. We all know the record snowfall in South Dakota into southern Minnesota this winter (or near record)....whereas the northeast part of ND has been in a zone of nothing it seems. I am starting to see signs that the poloar vortex over hudson bay will shift a bit northeast toward Baffin and then Greenland after the 15th and this should allow the storm track to be a bit more north toward our area in the last two weeks of the month I think. I have been noticing a trend of the GFS to have such a more northern event with rain up into southern Minnesota around the 17-18th of March.

    My colleague has mentioned there is lots of energy all the way across the Pacific back to Japan and the MJO is favorable for increased storminess late March and for most of April. Time will tell....

  44. I'd like to see some snow. I've been in Beijing for almost six weeks now. Today it was 10 C, yesterday 13 C and brown, brown, brown. Sun, snow, and evergreens would be very pleasant. When I get back in March I will have spent almost 12 weeks here and we had slight precipitation on two days. Apparently that's par for the course, as they get a huge part of their precipitation in July and August along with the associated heat and humidity.

    I was just wondering.... is the late spring associated with the heavy snow pack? Is the snow bouncing most of the heat back into space?

    You will be pleased to know that the Chinese government thinks you're important enough to block your blog. :) I have to use a web proxy to get around the firewall.

  45. daniel..

    My gut feeling is that we're still due for a significant snowstorm between mid March and mid April. That storm track remains very active to our south, and as it shifts north, we should be getting into a stormier pattern as Dan GF mentioned. I also have a feeling we'll be below normal into April and we won't lose our snowpack until early to mid April at the earliest. Hope I'm wrong but the overall pattern is not showing any signs of a quick turnaround to spring..

    box134.. interesting comments from China! As far as snowpack and a delayed spring is concerned.. snowpack does have an influence on temperatures, however a late spring would be tied more to the overall upper weather pattern than the snowpack itself. At this time of year, we can lose our snowpack quite quickly (within a few days) if we get a mild upper pattern established. Last year, we still had 30 cm of snow on the ground on March 9th, but by the 16th it was all gone as mild weather prevailed over the Prairies. Once our snowcover is gone, it becomes much easier to get milder weather since increasing solar radiation can more quickly warm the surface.

  46. FYI..

    Here are some dates over the past decade when snowcover was effectively gone from Winnipeg (+/- few days depending on your location.. obs after 2003 are from my backyard) Dates will be different for other locations in the RRV, but it gives you a general idea of timing and trends.

    2010.. March 16
    2009.. April 13
    2008.. April 4
    2007.. March 28
    2006.. April 4
    2005.. April 4
    2004.. April 5
    2003.. March 22
    2002.. March 30
    2001.. April 3
    2000.. Feb 22 (+16.5C by March 6)

    For comparison, we didn't lose snowcover until April 25th in 1997, and April 19th in 1979.. so our biggest spring flood events have occurred in years with cool springs and a protracted snowcover.

  47. The rapid warmup can be nasty. In 1979 the snow pack in Charleswood was above our 6 ft high fence in mid April and disappeared in less than 48 hrs. Many homes were completely surrounded by water.

  48. Must admit though, the fishing on Wilkes ave and many other of the unpaved roads was excellent.

  49. Difficult to believe a year ago next week (13th) we were celebrating one of the shortest winters on record with record temps.
    Rob's Blog March 13 2010
    Winnipeg just missed a record high today as the temperatures climbed to 10.2C at the airport and 11.4 at the Forks, a little shy of the record for March 13th of 12.2C set back in 1902. This was the mildest day in Winnipeg since Nov 21st when it hit 13C, one of the latest double digit days on record. Thus, with 111 days between double digit temperatures, this makes it one of the shortest winters on record in Winnipeg .

  50. Don...did you have to remind me!!!
    (shaking my head as I look out the window)!!!

  51. A fresh 2 inches of snow here at NWS Grand Forks today (Sunday). First snowfall of an inch or more since Jan 23 here. Nice to cover up the brown grass areas.

    Will keep an eye out for Friday....looks like a bit more energy diving southeastward with a threat again for some snow in the RRV down our way. I agree with Rob, would appear any warmup will be slow this year. The lastest CPC conf call shows pretty strong chances for a wetter and cooler Mar-Apr-May period.

  52. I particularly remember 1997, looking out the windows on March 30 and NOTHING had melted. The sun was high and brilliant, but nothing happening. The city had given up on clearing sidewalks so the posties had tramped paths straight from door to door. What a year.

  53. "Periods of rain" being forecast for Winnipeg Friday with a high of +1C. Not likely given current predicted low track through the Dakotas. Periods of snow more likely which is what GFS and ECMWF are suggesting. At this point, 5 cm looks possible for Winnipeg and RRV.. we'll have to see how models trend with this one.