Thursday, November 01, 2012

Some snow moving into southern Manitoba overnight into Friday

Weather map for midday Friday
showing area of snow pushing
into the RRV from the west
A weak weather system over southern SK is forecast to spread an area of snow over southern MB overnight into Friday, bringing some accumulating snow to much of the area.  Snow is expected to move into SW Manitoba overnight, gradually spreading into the Red River valley including Winnipeg by Friday afternoon (see top image). The snow is expected to continue through the evening rush hour into Friday night before tapering off early Saturday. Snowfall amounts are expected to range from 5-10 cm over SW Manitoba to about 2-5 cm in the Red River valley including Winnipeg (see lower image), with the highest amounts mainly south and west of Winnipeg. Little snow is forecast north and east of Winnipeg as the system slides to the southwest of the Red River valley and weakens.

24hr snowfall accumulations (cm)
from RGEM model
valid 7 am Fri - 7 am Sat
Luckily, winds will be light accompanying the system with temperatures near the freezing mark so blowing or drifting snow should not be an issue. Still, this will likely be the first widespread accumulating snow the city has seen since early October, so be prepared for some winterlike driving conditions by late Friday, especially if you're headed west of the city.

11 am Nov 2 UPDATE: Snow has spread over southwest MB this morning with MB highways reporting snowcovered roads west and northwest of Brandon. See recent photo taken on Hwy 16 near Foxwarren..

5:30 pm UPDATE:  Snow over southwest MB has edged eastward to a Portage-Carman-Emerson line. Snow is occurring moderate to heavy at times along and west of this line, with visibilities down to 1 km at times.  Snow will slowly move east into the Red River valley this evening with light snow possible in Winnipeg, although bulk of snow will likely remain south and west of Winnipeg.

24hr snowfall accumulation (mm/cm)
up to 7 am this morning. Note how
close Winnipeg was to swath of
heavier snow to southwest.
Snowfall amounts past 24 hours..

Winnipeg...  dusting
Carman .......  3 cm
Portage .......  5 cm
Winkler .......  6 cm
Brandon ..... 12 cm 


  1. There was a tornado in Mont-Laurier yesterday.

    Even though it was a weak one, this is one of the latest tornadoes in Canada.

  2. 00z RGEM brings bulk of snow to the southwest of Winnipeg Friday, with some minor snow (1 cm or less) just brushing the city. NAM brings about 5-6 cm over us Friday afternoon into Friday night. Slight difference of opinion there..

    Latest radar showing echoes spreading into SW Manitoba from eastern SK tonight, however surface observations indicating most it is still aloft and not reaching the ground yet. Expect the snow to start at the ground overnight as the low levels saturate.

  3. SEVERE thunderstorm watches in Newfoundland in November!? It's hard to get severe storms there in July even, who would've imagined..

  4. Snow has been slow to develop over southwest MB early this morning, even through radar is filling up nicely out there. Snow should surface shortly over SW MB with visibilities dropping quickly. Models have backed off a bit on the snow over Winnipeg/RRV with perhaps a dusting to 2 cm for the city later today into tonight. Again.. more snow expected west and southwest of Winnipeg in case you're travelling out that way.. (Brandon/Virden/Pilot Mound/Portage/etc.)

  5. Snowing pretty good over SW Manitoba.. Roads getting snowcovered especially west and northwest of Brandon. Click on my name for recent photo taken on the Yellowhead Hwy (16) near Foxwarren..

  6. Satellite imagery showing good deformation axis setting up from Swan River area through Woodlands and Winnipeg down to east of Emerson with snow sliding to the southwest of this axis. What does this mean for Winnipeg? It means any snow will have a hard time moving east of this boundary, with bulk of snow falling over SW Manitoba and western RRV. Light snow still possible for Winnipeg later today into tonight, but it's looking less likely that we'll see enough to cover the ground here.. unless deformation axis shifts further east. We'll keep an eye on it..

  7. Cheticamp, Nova Scotia was 23.0C yesterday. They recorded a humidex of 26C for an hour.

    This is pretty impressive for November.

  8. Interesting to look at the local webcams.. Morden and Grand Forks are snow covered, while it's bare from Emerson north and east. Leading edge of snow is just pushing into southern RRV and may edge up towards Winnipeg this evening. Snow definitely more widespread to the south and west of Winnipeg.. keep that in mind if you're travelling out that way this evening.

  9. Got 1.7 inches in Grand Forks as of 5 pm. A band of moderate to heavy snow which produced our snowfall in GF has been pushing east and northeast slowly....this assoc with narrow zone of enhanced 700 mb frontogensis. Rest of the snow west of this axis is more general with the upper low. Rob is right may have a real hard time pushing northeast into Winnipeg metro...looks close though.

  10. Update to the winter outlook...our local climate expert at the office issued an update for November. He forsees a few storms this month with the second half of the month turning significantly below average temp wise. Signal remains in place for a psbl storm around the 10-12th of Nov and he sees this has being possibly the strongest signal for a storm in the month.

    Overall winter outlook is very much uncertain. Weak to non-existant El-Nino means other factors at play, which are much harder to predict with any accuracy beyond a couple weeks. Basic idea is for a more normal winter... whatever that means

  11. Thanks Dan.. Yes, winter outlook will be even more challenging to predict this year. Appreciate the update..

  12. Update NWS Bismarck got 3 reports of 6 inches of snow in Rolla ND (Turtle mountain region).

    Have noticed on radar that band of heavy snow that moved through Grand Forks this aftn moved to near a Portage to Morden to Grafton ND line is now starting to pivot back south some....So might give an idea that the main snow may not reach YWG.

  13. Reports of isolated 6 inches in Northeast ND....Rolla area to between Pembina and Grafton. Heavy snow band set up there briefly in frontogentic forcing band. Radar shows weakening now....

  14. Hey Rob or Dan

    When you say possiblity of large storm around Nov 11 - 12. Do you mean in the Grand Forks area, the Winnipeg area or just somewhere on the praries?

  15. Hi Daryl...

    Yes the entire Winnipeg-Grand Forks-Brandon-Bismarck region. Models of course a bit different run to run with how deep the storm is and track but all take a pretty deep trough into the 4 corner region of the US and have a surface low run northeast somewhere up into western Minnesota into far northwest Ontario with a wide swath of precip north and west of storm system from the Dakotas into southeast Sask and Manitoba into NW Ontario.

    12z Euro in particular is a bit farther west and would get a good snow event for areas from Regina to Dauphin to the Interlake region. Other runs had the snow area a bit farther south and east.

  16. I was able to view the 168 hr 12hr GEM from the 12z run and the 11/3 00z 216-240 hr GEM for that 10-12th period. GEM is a bit flatter with upper ridge ahead of trough and trough is a bit more positive tilt and thus low is a bit more suppressed and bulk of precip stays in ND into far southeast Manitoba as surface high is over central Canada.

    Who knows right now but the signal is there for something in the Winnipeg-Grand Forks region that period.

  17. Area of light snow just to the south of the city trying to push north.. may move in overnight and give a dusting to the city. Snowfall amounts of 2-5 cm recorded from Portage through Carman to Morden/Winkler to Emerson today.

    A note about EC radar. EC radar on Weatheroffice is still in "rain" mode, which underdoes radar returns when its snowing. Weatheroffice radar doesn't go over to snow mode until Dec 1st. To see EC radar in either rain or snow mode, I recommend going to Brad's radar viewer on my radar page, or directly at..

    and select "1.0 CAPPI" under "product" selector. 1.0km cappi is snow mode, while 1.5 km cappi is rain mode.

  18. Daryl..

    Click on my name for output from GFS model valid for Saturday evening Nov 10th showing the potential storm that Dan was referring to. Still a ways away, but something we'll be following in the days ahead..

  19. Got a light dusting of snow overnight, just enough to slick up the roads. Careful driving out there this morning.. could be slippery, especially bridges and overpasses..

  20. Rob,

    2 questions.....

    Does this storm for next weekend look like a possible significant one?

    I'm hearing rumblings on very chilly temps in the 2nd half of the month, what's your opinion on that?

  21. Anonymous..

    Yes, the storm for next weekend has the potential to be significant over southern MB, with the possibility of 10 cm of snow or more. Still too early to get more specific, but models are agreeing that there will be a system tracking across the Dakotas late Friday into Saturday (Nov 10th) with snow spreading over the northern plain states and southern MB. Below normal temperatures to follow in its wake. I'll add a new post on this potential storm system over the next day or so.

  22. 12Z GGEM has come more in line with GFS and Euro about potential snowfall next weekend over southern MB, with 12z GFS now ramping things up to possible blizzard conditions over Winnipeg/RRV for Saturday (not that it's going to happen, but GFS gives Winnipeg over 50 cm of snow and winds gusting to 80 km/h!) Euro is taking main wave over northern plains, with inverted trof over southern MB bringing a general snowfall, but not quite as windy. Still, Euro showing about 30 cm of snow for Winnipeg over the weekend, which in itself is worrisome given the reliability of the Euro model. Overall, consensus seems to be growing that we will see a general snowfall over Winnipeg/RRV next weekend, with potentially significant amounts of 15 cm or more. Now, it's still a week away and a lot can change, so don't panic. Just stay tuned and keep checking in.. I'll be posting updates through the week. (Should I mention that Thursday is the 26th anniversary of the Blizzard of 1986 over southern MB?:))

  23. Rob, that potential snowstorm for next week is really showing up on some models and is looking like it could be quite significant. The GFS Spotwx as such is pointing at 50cm of snow at my house by Monday, very unlikely. The cold weather followed looks quite January like with -12 and cooler wx. Though mother nature has a tendency to surprise. What do you think?

  24. Goodness, the models seem to like the idea of snowmaggedon type systems this Fall.

  25. Mike..

    Potential is there for a major storm.. wouldn't be much of a surprise at this time of year. Although given how most snowstorms lately have been missing Winnipeg, it would be a surprise if we finally got one! :) But as I said, still early to say for sure. If nothing else, it will give us something interesting to talk about this week!

  26. Hi Rob,

    I noticed EC has rain or snow in the forecast for Thursday, does that look like anything big or just some light accumulations if any?

    I've heard today that Euro is still going with 30 cm at least with that possible big storm next weekend, what's the latest on this situation?

  27. Latest guidance continues to support a snow event for RRV/southern MB for next weekend, with GGEM and GFS very similar on overall pattern, timing and precip distribution. Euro is a bit less aggressive, but still brings a swath of snow over us in the same time frame. Latest GFS has come down on snowfall estimates with "only" 35 cm for Winnipeg, but still a good storm. Euro has also come down from 30 cm to 10 cm. GGEM is in the 20-30 cm range. Obviously these numbers will continue to change with each model run.. but they give some perspective.

    NAEFS ensembles are giving a 50% chance of seeing up to 9 cm in Winnipeg Saturday into Sunday, with a 25% chance of up to 23 cm. On the other hand, there's also a 25% chance we may see less than 2 cm. This far out, you have to expect that type of wide range in pcpn estimates.. which will tighten up as you get closer to the event.

    Overall though, I think it's a pretty good bet we'll be getting accumulating snow next weekend, the question is.. how much? At this point, on a scale of 1-10, I'd say confidence for at least 5 cm of snow for Winnipeg is an 8, and for 10 cm or more, I'd rate a 5. Stay tuned..

  28. One thing I forgot to mention that Dan from GFK alluded to earlier.. Euro model is indicating that the heaviest swath of snow from the weekend storm is expected west and northwest of Winnipeg, mainly over southern SK through Dauphin into the interlake regions, with less snow over the RRV and SE MB. Euro has been fairly consistent on this. GFS/GGEM on the other hand are further south and east with most of the heaviest snow over ND/RRV/SE MB. So even though most models agree there will likely be a snow event by Saturday, there is still considerable uncertainty as to where the heaviest swath of snow will fall. This will be the difference between a glancing blow to Winnipeg (5 cm or less), or a major hit (15 cm+). Hopefully, we can get some concensus over the next few days to get a better idea on how this storm will set up.

  29. Hi Rob,

    That seems to be a change from what Euro was indicating yesterday for Winnipeg...30 Euro is showing basically nothing much for Winnipeg and points east...5CM of snow or less is not something to talk about, even less a snow event.

    But I agree, with these types of systems it's very difficult to get a handle on what will happen this far out...certainly something to watch this week.

    I remember 1986, yes that famous blizzard of Nov '86, where the call was only 10 to 15 cm initially but we all know how that played you just never know.

    Rob, do you think this storm could become something like 1986 for us here in the city?

  30. @Anon.. Yes, the Euro backed off on that one run of 30 cm, with bulk of snow to our northwest. Will have to see how it trends.. but Euro is usually pretty reliable.

    As for whether we could see another 1986 type blizzard here, well, I can't say it WON'T happen, because the potential is there according to the GFS and GGEM. Good setup with the digging long wave western trof and strong thermal gradient over the plains, and surface low tracking over northern MN. Now, everything has to come into place, and the storm has to track across northern Minnesota into Kenora-Ft Frances area for best chance for us.. but I can't rule out the possibility of a major storm for us. At the same time, it's still a small chance at this point. We'll just have to wait and see how things develop, but we'll follow it closely and keep you updated through the week..

  31. At least that 1986 Nov blizzard was followed by a very mild and low-snowfall winter. (up till late Feb). Wouldn't mind that!

  32. Hi rob,

    Thanks for all the great's basically a wait and see game right now.

    I forgot to mention earlier, just how cold will likely get behind the system because i'm hearing well below nornal 2nd half of november. Could we be looking at plugging the car type of cold? I certainly hope not, not yet

  33. Looks like we will get quite cold behind this system, with highs in the minus teens for a few days (yeah, I'm not ready for it either!) Depending on how much snow we get, we could see lows in the minus 20s. (Note we set a record low of -26C after the 1986 blizzard) How the rest of November plays out is too hard to say at this point, as I don't see a clear signal one way or the other.

    New post up on this week's weather and the potential storm..

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