Sunday, December 15, 2013

After coldest December temperature in Winnipeg in 40 years.. a big, but temporary, warm-up on the way Monday..

Minimum temperatures (C)
Sunday Dec 15 2013
Record lows over much of MB
An arctic ridge of high pressure sprawled across Manitoba Saturday night brought some record cold temperatures early Sunday with temperatures plummeting to the -35 to -40C range over southern Manitoba, and -43C in Thompson. In Winnipeg, the thermometer at Winnipeg airport bottomed out at -37.3C Sunday morning, setting a new record low for Dec 15th, eclipsing the previous record of -37.2C set way back in 1879. (records began in 1872) For Winnipeg, it was the coldest December reading in 40 years, since a -37.8C reading on December 31 1973. That -37.8C reading, tied on Dec 31 1967, stand as the coldest temperatures ever recorded at Winnipeg airport in the month of December since records began there in 1938. However, previous to 1938, much colder temperatures have been recorded in Winnipeg in December at the former weather observing site at St John's College which took weather observations from 1872 to 1938. This included Winnipeg's all time coldest temperature during a remarkable cold snap in December 1879 that saw the temperature plummet to a record low of -47.8C on Dec 24 1879. The high that day was only -39.4C, making it the coldest day in Winnipeg history since records began in 1872.  By the way, the last time a reading of -40C or lower was recorded in December in Winnipeg was December 28 1933 with a low of -41.1C.

Coldest December temperatures in Winnipeg over the past 50 years  (since 1963)

Dec 31 1973 ............. -37.8C
Dec 31 1967 ............. -37.8C
Dec 15 2013 ............. -37.3C
Dec  24 1996 ............ -37.0C
Dec 12 1995 ............. -37.0C
Dec 20 1989 ............. -37.0C 

But enough about the cold.

Temperature map valid 1 pm Sunday Dec 15th 2013
Note large wave of mild air over western Canada
poised to spread east over the next 24 hours 
The frigid cold snap which has been locked over Manitoba for the past 10 days, will finally break Monday as a warm front from western Canada moves east and spreads a westerly flow of milder Pacific air across southern Manitoba. This will allow temperatures in Winnipeg to climb into the minus single digits Monday afternoon for the first time in two weeks. Note however, that in advance of the warmup, a band of snow ahead of the warm front will push into Winnipeg and the Red River valley by late Sunday afternoon giving a few hours of snow through the evening. 2-4 cm is possible along with reduced visibilities in blowing snow as southerly winds increase through the evening.

The milder weather is expected to last into Tuesday, but unfortunately it doesn't look like this will be a sustained warmup. Another clipper is expected by midweek with more snow (possibly another 2 to 5 cm), followed by a reinforcing shot of Arctic air by the end of the week into next weekend that will send temperatures back well below normal over southern Manitoba through the Christmas holidays. So enjoy the next couple of days of relief while you can!

Temperature trace from Rob's Obs weather station
Charleswood, Winnipeg - Dec 16 2013
showing dramatic temp rise from Sunday morning
UPDATE: Dec 16 2013
Temperature rises to -1.9C at YWG airport Monday afternoon, a phenomenal rise of over 35C within 30 hours from Sunday morning's low of -37.3C. The graph left shows the dramatic temperature rise as measured at my backyard weather station in SW Winnipeg. Note the steeper temperature rise around noon when winds shifted into the west and tapped the mild Pacific airmass.

57 comments:

  1. That band of snow is really wimping out as it tracks across us.. looks like we may not see much more than a dusting here this evening. Perhaps we'll get a little more overnight with another impulse, but otherwise.. not looking like much at the moment with this band.

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  2. Nice temperature rise past hour at Regina as the warm front pushed through. Went from -9C at 9 pm with a south wind to 0C at 10 pm with a west wind.

    We need to wait for that west wind to push in here tomorrow, but looks likely by afternoon which will help boost those temperatures above -5C here, maybe even close to the freezing mark over the western RRV.

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  3. Getting some nice fluffy snow this morning form a second wave passing through the Interlake into the RRV. I've picked up about 2 cm at my place so far and it's still snowing. Could see another couple cm as this next wave passes through.

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  4. -3 in Portage now with a west wind.

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  5. What does Wednesday look like to you? EC is called for -8C. CBC (JS) says -18C, and in his text is calling for "all the way to the mid minus twenties by Wednesday morning". TWN says -12C. CTV says -10C.

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  6. I'm more curious to the snow on Wed.

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  7. Stunning temperature rise here... After a record cold -37C yesterday morning, Winnipeg airport is up to -2C as of 1 pm, a 35C rise in about 30 hours. That's as dramatic a temperature swing as I've ever seen around here..

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  8. Rob what weather system do you see that will be bringing up to 10 cent of snow on Wednesday for southern Manitoba?

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  9. There's a clipper system tracking from central Saskatchewan into southern Manitoba that will be bringing an area of snow with it.. mainly through the Interlake area to east of Lake Winnipeg where 5-10 cm is possible. Much lesser amounts expected for Winnipeg and the areas south of the TCH.. with 2 cm or less forecast at this point.

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  10. Rob what do you think Brandon might get for snow out of the clipper system that will be coming through on wednesday?

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  11. >> Anonymous said... Rob what do you think Brandon might get for snow out of the clipper system that will be coming through on wednesday?

    Not much.. maybe a dusting as the cold front pushes through. Bulk of snow with clipper expected well north and east of Brandon...

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  12. Nice mild evening still as we stay in mild westerly flow. East-west Arctic cold front to our north, currently near Swan River will push southward overnight and move through Winnipeg between 3-6 am, at which point our temperatures will fall more rapidly through the morning rush hour reaching -16 or -17C by mid morning, then holding fairly steady through the day. Could see a dusting of snow with the cold front passage but otherwise, not much new snow expected.

    Front shifts back northward a bit Wednesday as clipper system tracks across southern MB, which puts us back into above normal temperatures Wednesday, then back to the deep freeze behind clipper for Thursday into the weekend.

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  13. Cold front came through Winnipeg just after midnight... a few hours earlier than expected and also brought a bit more snow... about 2 cm at my place with some blowing and drifting. Considerably colder this morning behind the front although not as frigid as the past week or so..

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  14. Rob, you commented that yesterday's wild temperature swing from a -37C to a -2C in 30 hours was very impressive.

    My question is, does Winnipeg weather office even keep track of weather stats like the greatest temperature swing, over certain periods of time?? I'm sure yesterdays temp rise is not something you are going to see for a very long time !

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  15. Just a side note, we also had a similar temperature swing just this past May. A low of -7.9°C on May 12 was followed by a high of 26.8°C the following day, a 34.7°C swing in about a 30-35 hour period compared with a 35.4°C swing in around 30 hours this time 'round.

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  16. Also in January 2006, we went from -32.9°C in the morning of the 22nd to 2.8°C the next afternoon; 35.7°C in 32 hours.

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  17. Also in January 2006, we went from -32.9°C in the morning of the 22nd to 2.8°C the next afternoon; 35.7°C in 32 hours.

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  18. Rob...
    Any idea if we will be getting any snow dec 24,25,26 in winnipeg and surrounding area....cold of course but that damned snow could curtail a lot of family gatherings...

    Thanks for your blog...i refer to it daily...merry christmas to you and yours..
    Dave

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  19. Thanks JJ and others for those temperature stats. I was wondering myself when Winnipeg experienced such a turnaround in one day. Unfortunately, those stats are not readily available.. one would have to pour over hourly data for Winnipeg back to 1953, and daily data back to 1872. A lot of spreadsheet number crunching.. but doable if one has all the records.

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  20. Dave.. Models hinting at a clipper system giving us some snow next week around the 24th.. but that's still a fair bit away to be more specific as models will have timing and track discrepancies until event gets closer. At this point, just something to keep an eye on..

    Best wishes to you and yours as well this holiday season!

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  21. >> Anonymous said... Rob what do you think Brandon might get for snow out of the clipper system that will be coming through on wednesday?

    Looks like clipper is moving a bit further south, as is the area of snow which is now moving into Brandon. Radar shows band of heavier snow (possibly mixed with ice pellets/freezing rain) over Moosomin/Virden area tracking toward Brandon. Could see a quick 2-5 cm of snow with this feature this morning.

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  22. According to Broadview SK autostation, they've picked up 7 cm of snow in the past couple of hours with a band of very heavy snow currently along the TCH between Brandon and Broadview.

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  23. Hi Rob,

    Is this heavy band of snow heading our way? I see some snow moving in from the west.

    Thanks

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  24. The area of snow is moving towards Winnipeg, but it's not as heavy as it was out west. Band appears to be weakening after dumping 10-20 cm of snow along the TCH near Broadview/Moosomin area this morning.

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  25. Hi Rob,

    Joy, I see weather network is calling for 10 - 15 cm for Monday.
    Hopefully they are wrong. I'm sure you will give us an update as the day gets closer.

    Thanks.

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  26. Accuweather updated theirs to say 8cm Monday night A bit of a crappy time of the year to get a snowfall

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  27. Anonymous.. the Monday snow is based on that clipper I was mentioning for Tuesday. Latest guidance is showing minimal amounts for Winnipeg with that system.. perhaps a dusting to 2 cm.. but we'll keep an eye on it to see if amounts are bumped up again.

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  28. Thank You Rob, In an unpredictable world your blogs really help those of us that need accurate weather analysis as part of making a living.

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  29. Hi Rob,

    I believe this is how the last system was. They were calling for 10 - 15 cm and then it was down graded and then "bam" 15 cm. Hope this is not the same.

    Love the blog!!

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  30. Hey Rob

    Just wondering where you go to view the models. Last winter I went to Weather moment and was able to view the various different models as long as I was in fire fox or chrome. This year I can only get the gem to work and that only shows up to 3 days out. The rest of the models just show a blank screen

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  31. Rob, I know this is off topic, but there is talk about the potential for a bad ice storm in Southern Ontario this weekend. Not as bad as the 1998 storm, but if it does hit the Toronto to Niagara area, then the impacts could be very bad indeed.

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  32. Daryl..

    The model viewer from A Weather Moment is undergoing upgrades, and will be out with a new improved version sometime soon.. although not sure exactly when. Check the AWM website for updates.

    In the meantime, I like looking at the "meteocenter" link from UQAM for model ourput, as well as College DuPage site for NAM and GFS output. Many people also like the "Twister" model site. These links are available under my model drop down menu. Note also, you can click on SpotWx output for location-specific model data (which are linked under my forecast graphic on my main webpage) Hope that helps..

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  33. Anonymous.. yes, I'm following that weekend storm over southern Ontario closely. Good setup for band of signifact freezing rain Saturday night into Sunday morning mainly along and north of the 401 corridor. Could be nasty.. but still a very tricky forecast depending on where the various freezing levels set up.

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  34. Hi Rob, I was wondering where you get your data for the temp as -37 for the 15th. This site http://rp5.ru/Weather_archive_in_Winnipeg,_James_Armstrong_Richardson_%28airport%29,_METAR

    has the coldest temp at -35. Is it because these are hourly figures? Just a weather buff trying to be accurate. Thanks.

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  35. Hello again. The weather underground map has a Charleswood reporting station. Is that you? Thanks.

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  36. John.. Yes, the -37C was the minimum temperature recorded between hourly observations. Max/min data for Winnipeg airport can be found at http://climate.weather.gc.ca/climateData/dailydata_e.html?StationID=27174 although I see some data is missing, including the 15th.

    And yes, my Charleswood weather station is on Weather Underground, online since Nov 2001 (ID IMBWINNI3) Mine is one of 2 currently reporting in Charleswood. When I first came online with Weather Underground in 2001, there were maybe 3 stations in all of Winnipeg. Now there's at least 15 in the city with several more just outside the perimeter. Really shows how the popularity of these online backyard stations has taken off in recent years.

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  37. Hello Rob. Would you be able to tell me about how much we are running below average as of today?? I see maybe a " warmer " day on Tuesday with that clipper, but that deep freeze looks to settle in for the remainder of the month.

    Just wondering if we are even in the realm of top ten coldest Decembers . Thanks, and Happy holidays to you and your family.

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  38. Hi Rob,

    I see the snow is back on for Christmas Eve 5 - 10 cm.
    I knew it would come back.
    Thoughts?

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  39. Anonymous.. Yeah, long range models all showing a general 5-10 cm of snow for Winnipeg/RRV ahead of clipper system tracking through central/northern MB moving into NW Ontario for Christmas day. At this point, all I can say is that the models are pretty much in agreement that some snow is likely on the 24th, but still too far away to be more precise on amounts and timing. A system tracking to our north would generally support heavier snow to the north of Winnipeg, but as we've seen with these types of systems, you can always get narrow bands of heavier snow that can surprise you with higher amounts.. so I certainly can't rule out 5-10 cm for Winnipeg.

    One thing more certain is that we'll get some moderating temperatures on the 24th ahead of the system, but cold northwesterlies on the backside for Christmas Day, along with potential blowing/drifting snow issues if we get enough snow. But again, just a potential at this point..

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  40. Environment Canada should wait a bit before issuing their top 10 events of th year. By the looks of things, that ice storm in southern Ontario could be top 10 worthy if it ends up being as bad as expected.

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  41. 11 days to go and running a full 5 degrees below normal at robs. Likely worse at the airport. I'm hoping for a turnaround in January otherwise this is going to be a brutal winter.

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  42. ..and today is the first day of winter! :)

    From a weather perspective, this never ending cold is just plain boring. I'll be watching southern Ontario this weekend for my weather fix! Now THAT'S interesting weather!

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  43. ROB Wunderground seems to be adopting names for these Multi state/prov storms. What are your thoughts on this.

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  44. Naming winter storms was an initiative started by the US Weather Channel, which now owns Weather Underground.. so they are compelled to use the naming convention. Personally, I don't have a problem with it.. but I know many people in the meteorological community are against it. At least it's better than than over-hyped media labels like "Snowmaggedon" or "snowpocalypse" that seem to be used with every major storm now.

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  45. Hi rob, I have family coming in from Calgary in the next day or two... How does the weather look for that stretch in the coming days?

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  46. Anonymous.. Looks good for travelling over next couple of days. Mainly clear and cold over southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba with no major systems to worry about. Winds should be light too. Next system to watch will be moving over southern SK by late Monday and into southern MB Tuesday with snow and strong winds..

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  47. Rob, a little early, but as it looks now, would you say there is the potential for blizzard conditions in the RRV on Tuesday??

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  48. Anonymous.. That system coming in Tuesday will have some strong southerly winds ahead of it.. probably 40G60 km/h or higher for Winnipeg and the RRV. As that snow pushes in Tuesday morning, those strong winds may give a few hours of very poor visibilities in snow and blowing snow. Something to watch..

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  49. How much snow does it look like for that system hitting us Tuesday? Significant amount or just a dusting....

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  50. I was on Rob's website and clicked on the current temperatures icon. I could not believe the current temps along the eastern seaboard on the United States. Some cites are already at 22C this early in the morning!!

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  51. Is this December cold going to match some all time numbers?

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  52. Environment Canada is calling for -35 tonight here in Winnipeg. Could even go lower than that again. One thing is for certain, is that we will not beat the record low tomorrow morning!!

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  53. I don't know about you Rob, but this winter cold is already starting to wear out it's welcome :(

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  54. -38 C temperature with a -50 windchill in Brandon this morning. Brutal!

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  55. Yeah, I'm pretty tired of it too. It's the monotony that gets to me.. day after day of cold, punctuated by an occasional clipper that gives us a few cm of snow. Then back to more cold. Not very exciting. I hope we can get a major pattern flip in January, but I'm not holding my breath. What's odd is that the AO index has been positive much of December, which should have minimized Artic outbreaks here. So I don't know what else is going on to maintain this unending cold.

    As for this December, we're at about -20C.. which is a good 7C below normal. So far, this is the coldest December since 2000, which averaged -22C, the 4th coldest Dec on record. Coldest December ever in Winnipeg since records started in 1872 was back in 1879 with a monthly mean of -26C. That month featured Winnipeg's coldest temperature ever recorded, -47.8C on Dec 24th.

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  56. Official low of -35.6C at YWG airport this morning.

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