Friday, March 13, 2015

Record warm March weekend for Winnipeg and southern MB!

Spring has sprung in southern Manitoba, with well above normal temperatures this week bringing a quick melt of the snowcover over much of the area. And the best is yet to come as even warmer air spreads across the southern Prairies this weekend, likely bringing record high temperatures in the teens over much of southern Manitoba including Winnipeg. The record high for Saturday (14th) for Winnipeg is 11.4C set in 1981 while Sunday's record high is 14.4C set during the record warm March of 2012. Both records are likely to fall in the city as temperatures reach the low to mid teens this weekend. In fact, it's possible some areas of the Red River valley may approach 20C on Sunday!!  Incredible to think we were locked in a deep freeze until this week, with temperatures still dipping well into the minus 20s during the first week of March. Slightly cooler but still mild weather is expected for next week. So get out and enjoy this fabulous weekend.. as spring has sprung early in southern Manitoba!      

CAUTION!:  City of Winnipeg and Winnipeg Police Service are reminding people that the mild temperatures through this weekend are making ice conditions on rivers and creeks extremely unstable and very unsafe. DO NOT attempt to walk on ice covered rivers, creeks or ponds as ice will be quickly deteriorating in the very mild temperatures. Remind children of this hazard.. we don't want this beautiful weekend turning into a tragedy.

26 comments:

  1. Bismarck ND forecasting a high of 80F (27C) for Sunday! Much of ND will be in the 20s Sunday, with some 20C temps possible over southern MB in the southern RRV.

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  2. Rob, what do you think are Winnipeg's chances of reaching 20C Sunday?

    Thanks, Anon

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    1. I don't think Winnipeg will hit 20C.. unless we get enough sun and our winds shift into the west-southwest in the afternoon. I think 20C is more of a possibility down in the Morden/Winkler/Emerson area. Euro model is giving Winnipeg 18C Sunday, and temps aloft support it.. so there's a slim chance we may get close to 20C. If we do, it would be the earliest on record that Winnipeg has ever hit 20C.. earlier even than March 2012 (20.9C on March 18th) Personally, I think Winnipeg will be more like 15-18C Sunday with some high clouds, still a record high. Keep in mind Saturday night will be quite balmy with lows only around 9 or 10C along with gusty south winds and some increasing cloud cover, so we'll be starting off very mild Sunday morning to help reach those mid to upper teen temps by the afternoon.

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  3. Thanks...either way it's gonna be as gorgeous as it can get at this time of year. So nice to see early start Spring that we deserve after what we've been through the last 2 years.

    Rob, what I don't understand is why is E.C. only forecasting 11 for Sunday?

    Thanks, Anon

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    1. Yeah that 11C seems way underdone for Sunday.. especially given that the overnight low on Saturday night will barely drop below +10C! It might be an issue with questionable post processing temperature algorithms that are supposed to improve temperature guidance, but at times makes it worse (That high of 11C is a computer generated forecast, not adjusted by human forecasters) Straight model output from the GLB is showing 14C for Winnipeg Sunday, NAM shows 15C and Euro has 19C. GFS is the coolest at 12C but it has a cool bias. Again, I think 15-16C looks like a good bet for Winnipeg Sunday.. possibly 18C if we get enough sun and our winds shift into the west.

      Whatever the case, you're right.. a nice treat after our last two awful springs. Last year at this time, I still had 45 cm of snow on the ground!

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  4. Rob, is this early start to Spring expected to continue over the next few weeks or are we expected to drift back towards cooler than normal weather again towards the end of the month like some have been saying?

    Thanks, anon

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    1. Latest guidance is showing a trend towards more normal temperatures by middle to end of next week, then possibly colder than normal for latter part of March into early April. However, given that we've lost most of our snowcover, it makes it easier to stay above normal since temperatures can warm up much more without snow on the ground. (assuming we don't get a large widespread snow in mid to late March, which can still happen. But at least, it will melt easier than winter snowcover) But honestly, I wouldn't fret about the long range.. way too much uncertainty to worry about. Enjoy the warm weather in the meantime!

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  5. As of 2 pm.. new record high of 11.6C set at YWG airport, beating previous record high for March 14th of 11.4C in 1981. Temps still likely to go up to 13-14C in Winnipeg.. while it'll be a sizzling 17-19C in the western RRV and in downslope areas east of the Riding Mtns (McCreary) and north of the Turtle Mtns (Boissevain, Deloraine, etc). Spectacular day!

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    1. Airport got up to 13.2C today.. easily breaking the 1981 record for today. Looks like warmest spot in Manitoba today was Morden at 18.3C.. helped by a little downsloping off the Pembina escarpment. Another mild one tomorrow, although we'll have mainly cloudy skies to start before we see some sunshine by midday or so.. Temperatures will start off very mild with readings near 10C Sunday morning, then climbing to about 15C by midday as we get into the sunshine. We have some cooler air aloft moving in Sunday afternoon, so we won't be hitting those 20C values here in Winnipeg.. but 15C looks reasonable by early afternoon before we level off and then start cooling off later in the day as winds become northwesterly and gusty. Still could see some 20C readings near Emerson and southern Steinbach region..

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  6. Looks like high for Winnipeg airport today has levelled off at 14.3C.. just 0.1C shy of the record high for the day (14.4C in 2012). Cooler air now working in from the west, so unlikely to get much higher even with some sunshine moving in. The Forks downtown however hit 15.4C this afternoon, a new record for Mar 15th (13.3C in 2012)

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    1. I'm sure the airport would have set a record today if that late afternoon sunshine came in an hour or two earlier.

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  7. Hi, Rob,

    That was an incredible weekend! How many municipalities hit record highs and record low maximums across Manitoba during Saturday and/or today?

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    1. There were at least 10 record highs set yesterday across southern MB, and another 5 today. Not sure how many high minimum records were broken today depending on how low temps drop by midnight (actually 1 am since official stats are taken at 06 UTC)

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  8. By the way, Winnipeg had a high of -15.6C a year ago today.. which means we were a whopping 30C warmer this year than last!

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  9. I noticed that MB highways has changed their website so all links to their site (incuding highway webcams) are no longer valid. In addition, it looks like they've lost 3 or 4 webcams. I will update the links on my site tonight..

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    1. Webcam page updated with new links..

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  10. Rob, I noticed a forecast low of - 21C and high of - 8C for Saturday and not much warmer for Sunday

    Wow, are returning to winter or something?

    Thanks, Anon

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    1. Yes, looks like a cold weekend coming up (quite a change from this past weekend!), but I don't think we'll be as cold as -20C now that our snow is gone. I think that temperature guidance is being swayed by climatology which assumes that we still have snow on the ground. Hence, I think temps this weekend will be a few degrees higher than currently forecast.. like highs of -5, and lows of -15C. Still colder than normal, and much colder than our record breaking taste of spring this past weekend.

      The good news is that this cold shot looks brief.. with temps rebounding nicely again next week. After that.. long range guidance is suggesting near to below normal for the end of March into early April.. but less certainty about that depending on whether or not we get a snowcover again.

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  11. Clipper system will be tracking from southern Alberta into North Dakota tonight into Friday bringing a swath of accumulating snow mainly over southwest MB into the southern RRV. Could see 3 to 8 cm of snow in this swath primarily south and west of Portage la Prairie.. including Brandon, Pilot Mound and Emerson. Winnipeg will be on the northern edge of this system, and we could see a dusting of snow here tomorrow morning, although at this time, most model guidance keeps bulk of snow to our south and west. Regardless, be aware of a return to colder and snowy conditions tomorrow morning, especially if you're travelling south or west of Winnipeg.

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  12. Snow from that system didn't amount to much.. just a couple cm over far SW MB, mainly south and west of Brandon. Not disappointed we missed out on the snow here! Loving being snow free this early!

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    1. If the GFS and Global models are correct we could be in store for a significant Colorado Low snow event Tuesday night and Wednesday. 15 to 20 cm of heavy wet snow for Winnipeg and Red River Valley if it pans out. Long ways out yet but both models are frightening similar.

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    2. Yeah.. Euro has also trended towards snow into us Tue-Wed.. with a good 10-15 cm possible in Winnipeg and RRV, possibly heavier over SW MB. Earlier runs were showing system staying mainly to our south and west, but last night's run shifted well north into Winnipeg, similar to GFS and GLB.. so we're getting greater consensus for a potentially significant snowfall Tuesday into Wednesday next week. Initially, precip could be rain for Winnipeg/RRV as temps Tuesday are above freezing, but then changing to snow later Tuesday into Wednesday as colder air works in. Hopefully, that keeps the snow amounts from getting too heavy here in the city.. but amounts could be heavier depending on phase change and elevation.. especially over higher elevations to our southwest. By the way, a weaker system looks like it will bring a few cm of snow to Winnipeg Sunday night into early Monday with 2-3 cm possible, more to our southwest. So after a spring like end to winter, it's looking like spring will be off to a winter like start!

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  13. Hi,

    One of my friends who is in the snow business pays for weather forecasts and he told me the same thing tonight except it was for next Thursday. I know it is a little ways away but what are your thoughts Rob?

    I was really hoping for no more snow.

    Thanks

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    1. Yeah, I was hoping for no more snow as well.. but that would be wishful thinking this early. Still a good month before we can start thinking no more snow..

      We have two potential snowfalls coming up within the next week over southern MB including Winnipeg. One minor event Sunday night into early Monday could bring 2-3 cm of snow to Winnipeg, possible more to our southwest. Then a more significant snowfall is possible Tuesday into Wednesday as a stronger storm system tracks across the Dakotas. That one may bring 10+ cm to Winnipeg by Wednesday.. although it may start off as rain at first changing to snow by Tuesday night. That system has the potential to bring heavier snowfalls of 20 cm or more over parts of southern MB (especially SW MB) depending on if precip starts as rain or snow, elevation, etc. I will be posting a blog update on this system this weekend. Stay tuned..

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  14. So what is the status of this latest system?

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    1. Looks like we'll be getting brushed with a couple cm overnight into Monday morning, possibly more to our west.. as a weak system slips though (currently giving snow over southern Sk this evening)

      Then things get more complicated for later Tuesday into Wednesday. Storm system tracks across Montana into North Dakota but then weakens as a second storm system over the central plains takes over and tracks into the Great Lakes. Models don't totally agree on when this transition takes place, which will impact snowfall amounts over southern MB (especially Winnipeg) Heavier snow amounts (10+ cm?) more likely over western MB/Interlake where it will be colder (and higher elevation) but snowfall totals more uncertain for Winnipeg/RRV/SE MB due to warmer temps initially and uncertainty with storm transition. I'll be posting a new blog update this evening..

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