Thursday, March 15, 2012

Warm spell threatens all time records for March warmth

The current warm spell affecting central North America will threaten some all time records for March warmth over southern Manitoba over the next few days. In Winnipeg, daily record highs are likely to be set over the next 5 days, starting with today with a record high of 13C forecast, 2C above the current mark of 11.1C set on this date in 1927. The warmth really starts cranking up on Friday, with brisk southerly winds sending temperatures up to the 20C mark over southern Manitoba. If Winnipeg hits 20C or higher Friday, it would mark the earliest date on record that the city has ever hit the 20C mark, a full week earlier than the current mark of March 23, 1910 (22.8C) It would also be only the 4th time on record that the city has hit the 20C mark in March, and the first occurrence in over 65 years. (UPDATE: Official high temperature Friday was 19.9C.. just missing an official 20C day, but it's the earliest we've ever hit 19C)

20C days in March.. Winnipeg (since 1872)

1. March 27 1946 ... 23.3C
2. March 23 1910 ... 22.8C
3. March 28 1938 ... 20.6C

A slight cool down is forecast for Saturday, but temperatures are still forecast to be at record levels in the mid teens. Another push of warm air Sunday into Monday is expected to send temperatures into the 20s across southern MB, including Winnipeg where the all time March high of 23.3C in 1946 will be threatened. A cold front pushing through Monday night into Tuesday will bring cooler air, along with showers and possibly even the season's first thunderstorm of the year. All in all, looks like a potentially historic March warm spell on tap over southern Manitoba.


  1. The forecast high for Portage La Prairie on Monday is 28C.

    That is July like weather.....
    Surely that must be a typo by EC :D

  2. If we are going to be 20 C above normal this time of year, and extrapolate that out to July.....then one could say that we will be hitting temps of 46 C in July.

    Rob does your therometer even go that high?? HA ha ha!!!!

  3. Three days >20C in 140 years of March.. 4340 days if you're counting. EC forecast Low for Monday the 19th is 19C....yeah riiiiiiiit. Apologies to Big Bang but Sheldon finds this as unlikely as willingly giving up his seat on the sofa.

  4. RECORD BREAKER for today :)

  5. Sunday night definitely looks warm with a gusty south wind all night and 850 temps of 16C or more along with dewpoints of 10C or higher. So a double digit low looks likely.. perhaps 13C or so. But 19C defies logic for this time of year. In over 140 years of records, there's never been a March day where the low temperature was above 8C. So a low of 19C in March would be beyond anything we've ever seen here. That being said, it does appear that Monday may be the first time Winnipeg has ever had a low in the double digits in March. Will it also be Winnipeg's warmest March day ever as well? We'll see!

  6. Rob!!!!

    Poll question:

    Will Winnipeg airport break it's all time warmest March daytime high with this current "heatwave"??

    Do you think that is a good poll question???

  7. Sounds good daniel.. poll posted!

    Will be interesting to see if we can hit the 20C mark tomorrow. Low level temperatures are about 5-6C warmer than today, and winds will be brisk up the valley. That should equate to highs of 18-20C. There may be some high level cloud that could prevent maximum solar heating to get us to 20C.. but it will be close. Better chance for 20C plus on Monday. Regardless.. extraordinary weather for this time of year.. mid April weather instead of mid March.

  8. Special weather statement Issued for records that were smashed across the area!!

  9. A record high of 14.4C at YWG today. Looks like temperatures will be about 6C warmer tomorrow, which would take us just over the 20C mark. A historic milestone if we do it..

  10. Latest NAM model tonight showing some incredible warmth spreading into southern MB Sunday as warm front pushes north of us. NAM showing 25C temps possible over RRV Sunday including Winnipeg as 925 mb temps surge to 19C. GLB has also trended north with Sunday's warm front on tonight's run.. so model concensus right now is pointing to possible all time March warmth Sunday, perhaps lingering into Monday.

  11. We might even beat tomorrow's record high by NOON time...LOL!!!!

  12. 24.4C with a humidex of 27C in Windsor, Ontario... That's the warmest temperature recorded in Canada in 2012.

    A low of 14C this morning over there as well.

    Let's see if Southern Manitoba can break that on Monday.

  13. Kuhny in Southern Ontario5:14 AM, March 16, 2012

    Rob - it's great we're all enjoying this warmth at the same time. We here in Southern Ontario may have the longest string of 20 C or greater days in March on record by the middle of next week - especially locales like Windsor, London and maybe Kitchener. I hope you get your earliest 20 C on record in Winnipeg today! Good luck!

  14. A high of 26 for both Sunday and Monday for Winnipeg.Along with a chance of thunderstorms. Did we just fast foward into June????

  15. Posted a pic to Rob's facebook page to show the extent of this bubble of warmth!

  16. 26 for Sunday and Monday? Thats just unheard of. 24-26 degrees above normal?

    Call me a pessimist or cynic but I can't help but worry that Mother Nature is going to give us all a kick in the rear eventually as payment for this gorgeous weather.

  17. 26C is a stretch for Winnipeg.. but it's not out of the question given current model guidance. On Sunday, a warm front along the US border will lift north, allowing very warm air to push north into southern MB. There may be some elevated thunderstorms Saturday night into Sunday morning as this front pushes north, which is why there's a 30% chance of showers mentioned for Sunday. Depending on how quickly this front pushes north of us and how quickly we get into sunshine Sunday will determine whether we can hit that 26C mark. But with 925 mb temps surging to almost 20C, it's possible. Monday looks breezy and warm, but increasing clouds and threat of showers and thunderstorms may limit the chance for hitting 26C.

    But, the potential is there for all time March warmth Sunday or Monday.. let's see if we can do it! (recall that Winnipeg recorded an all time monthly high just last October)

  18. This is going to blow all your socks off.

    Expected high/low in Winnipeg on Sunday: 26/16

    Expected high/low in Kuwait City on Sunday: 14/6

    I think the world's weather has gone completely insane! Loving it though!

  19. Now that's what I call March madness! :)

  20. Things are definitely looking good for some convective activity. First threat is Sunday morning with the warm front. Could be some elevated storms to deal with.

    Best chance would be Monday night with the low centre moving into SW MB/SE SK.

    Pretty cool to be talking about storm potential in March.

    By the way, Reed Timmer posted an image on his Facebook about EHI values being favorable for tornadic activity in southern Manitoba.

    I can't see that happening but what do I know?

  21. Record breaker at Winnipeg airport at it's only NOON Time.

    Golf courses open - check
    Hot dog stands - Check
    Motorcycles on the road - check

  22. I KID you not!
    We might have a humidex reading in Winnipeg and Southern Manitoba this weekend. With temps in the 20's and dewpoint a bit over 10C that would put our humidex a few degrees over the temp.
    GRAND BEACH here I come.....LOL!!

  23. Des Moines Iowa at 2:00 has a temp at 28C with a dewpoint of 14 C.

    Truly stunning!

  24. Rob!

    Check out your facebook page for some info a potential storm threat this weekend.

  25. Beautiful day.. but it will be very difficult to reach 20 C today. Models show 15 C at 850 hPa by late this afternoon, but persitent SSE valley flow will prevent good mixing even after we clear out.

    Complex forecast this weekend as a series of embedded shortwaves move up the main upper level trough - which will slowly shift east. Each disturbance will generate a LLJ and slug of moisture advection with chances for precipitation.

    Surface trough comes thru tonite and stalls somwhere near the intl border. First push of moisture advection Saturday nite lifts the front northwards by mid to late afternoon Sunday as Rob mentioned. Main LLJ remains focused down in the central plains and around first distrubance moving thru the western prairies, so precip chances look slim.

    Models then show impressive 60 kt LLJ nosing into our region overnite Sunday with precipitable waters around 25-30 mm, and strong shear. Models not wanting to show any precipitation locally however, keeping it over western N Dakota in the colder air and better upper support.

    Yet another distubance and starts moving up on Monday, cranking up moisture advection again with seemingly the best chance for convection coming later that evening and overnite.

    Tricky temperature forecast with very warm airmass but many blobs of moisture and clouds moving up in southerly flow. Best chance for 20-25 C temperatures will be if we can scour out stratus behind warm front early Sunday afternoon, and if we can hold off large area of clouds and convection moving up from the south late Monday.

  26. Well really close.. 19.7 C at YWG and 19.8 C at Rob's. Let's see if the temperature surged above 20 C between 4 and 5 at the airport.

  27. 19.9 is the max...too bad!

  28. 19.9C at the airport and my station as well.. Couldn't squeeze just 0.1C more today, could we? :) Oh well, looks like Sunday will be a better chance for going above 20.. maybe even an all time March maximum!

  29. Winnipeg has reached 19.9 degrees Celsius. The previous earliest 19 degrees recorded in Winnipeg was on March 21, 1938, when 19.4 was reached.

  30. Official 20C obs today over southern MB..

    Brandon ....... 21.3C
    Sprague ....... 21.2C
    Carberry ...... 20.8C
    Pilot Mound ... 20.3C
    Morden ........ 20.1C
    Emerson ....... 20.0C

    As noted, Winnipeg airport just missed an "official" 20C day by 0.1C, but I don't think too many people minded :)

  31. Absolutely loving the mild weather; it seems like we've just jumped forward 2-3 months!

    But speaking of jumping forward 2-3 months, models are starting to hint that our storm season might have just done that too. Some of the numbers coming out for Sunday are simply unreal; I've never seen numbers like them in the Prairies this early in the year. I've written a long summary of what some of the severe weather parameters are shaping up to be on Sunday over on my blog:

    Suffice to say, it's going to be a scorcher. If the cap doesn't quite hold, then it may also be a severe thunderstorm and/or tornado outbreak day...

  32. Also, 19.6°C was the max at my place today. Had a great walk & BBQ this evening. I could get used to not having much winter...

  33. Incredible dewpoints to our south for this time of year.. TDs of 13-16C spreading over eastern SD and southern MN. That could fuel some nocturnal tstorms tonight along warm front as it pushes north along US border with advancing low level moisture. Best chance for tstorms over SE MB closer to low level jet.

    Warm front pushes through Winnipeg on Sunday, but that will also bring in higher dewpoints in the 10-13C range along with increased chances of low level cloud. If we can get some sunshine, we should be able to get close to or break our all time March high of 23C Sunday, but if clouds remain, that may thwart our chances of breaking the record. RGEM still going hog wild on the high temperature for Winnipeg tomorrow at 28C, but that seems wildly optimistic.

  34. Hey Rob,

    Do you know when and what the warmest average monthly March temperature was in Winnipeg?

  35. anonymous..

    Winnipeg's warmest March on record was back in 1878, with a monthly mean of +1.6C, over 7C above current March normals. Not suprisingly, that month followed our warmest winter ever of 1877-78.

    The next top 4 warmest Marches..

    2. 1910 ... +1.2C
    3. 1973 ... +0.5C
    4. 2000 ... -0.1C
    5. 1981 ... -1.0C

    We're currently sitting at -2.6C this month, but the next few days will boost that average significantly. We'll see if that can maintain top month honours even after we cool off next week.

  36. If we can break the warmest March daytime high and then break the warmest overnight low on the same day. That would be unreal!

  37. Rob!

    When we are breaking the record for the day AT 11:00 in the morning, that shows you how surreal this weather is...LOL

  38. It is truly exceptional.. RGEM has a 570 dam 1000-500 mb thickness over southern MB tomorrow.. summertime values! Overnight lows higher than the record highs for the day.. I don't recall ever seeing that happen in my over 25 years of watching weather. That would be like an overnight low of 35C in July. This is off the scale type of weather..

    But that's what the RGEM model thinks will happen.. we'll see if it really does. I'm a little concerned with the NAM's cooler solution for Sunday along with more low level cloud that may jeopardize our potentially record breaking day.

  39. Let it be duly noted that on March 17th, 2012 I was outside enjoying a glorious day wearing shorts, t-shirt and sandals.. in WINNIPEG!

  40. Does SE MB include Winnipeg?

  41. Superstitious about records,I restrict comment to your page view numbers.
    Rob, when was the last time they went over 4000.

  42. D'Thomas..

    According to Google stats, since Jan 1st, my Rob's Obs site has seen accessed by over 3000 unique visitors, with over 14000 visits and 19000 pageviews. I'm averaging about 200 visits a day, but interesting weather days can double that.

    I've never seen the weekly counter up to 4000 on my blog.. but it's getting close this week.

  43. By the way, it's snowing in the Okanagan today. Not often that we can brag the weather here is better than the Okanagan..

  44. anonymous..

    SE MB would be mainly southeast of Winnipeg, from Steinbach to the Ontario border. But these types of nocturnal storms could pop up anywhere, so Winnipeg may even have a chance of seeing a t-storm overnight as well.

  45. I found this link via meteocentre on the potential threat for thunderstorms in manitoba this weekend. Click on my name for info!

  46. 20.5°C at my place in south end at the moment, even warmer than yesterday! Not the same at the airport I see, It's mostly sunny here so might be less cloud here.

  47. 20.5C at my place too. The light winds today made backyard stations read a tad warmer today.. and it sure felt like it! What a great day!

    Now let's see if we can break the all time record Sunday!