Thursday, February 04, 2016

Clipper system to bring snow across southern Manitoba this weekend

Map valid 6 pm Saturday evening shows band of snow and ice
over SW Manitoba pushing east as clipper system from SK
tracks across southern MB this weekend
A clipper system is forecast to track across southern Manitoba this weekend bringing an area of snow with it Saturday afternoon into Sunday. At this point, it looks like an inital band of snow will push across the regions Saturday afternoon, with possibly 2-4 cm of snow for Winnipeg and the RRV along with a risk of ice pellets over SW MB.  This band of snow will push off Saturday evening before another area of snow with the main clipper spreads across the area Saturday night into Sunday. At this point, models are suggesting the bulk of snow will fall mainly across western MB from Dauphin to Pilot Mound into North Dakota (10-15 cm possible) with lesser amounts of 5-10 cm for Winnipeg and 5 cm or less over SE Manitoba.  In addition, gusty NW winds are expected behind the system Sunday, so blowing and drifting snow will likely result in reduced visibilities in rural areas, especially west of Winnipeg to the SK border and south to the ND border.  Colder weather will follow in the wake of this system for the start of the new work week with highs in the minus teens and lows in the minus 20s for the first half of the week. 
Snowfall amounts (inches) forecast by NAM model valid
late Sunday. Bulk of snow expected north and west of Winnipeg
UPDATE: (Friday evening) NWS has issued blizzard watches for eastern ND and high wind watches for western ND for Sunday. Strong NW winds gusting to 80-90 km/h are expected on the backside of this system over much of North Dakota Sunday. The strong winds combined with falling or fresh snow will lead to poor visibilities in blowing snow especially over eastern ND and the RRV.  Although the strongest winds are expected in ND with this system, winds will be gusty over southwest MB and the southern RRV as well, so be prepared for  poor travelling conditions Sunday into Sunday night, especially south and west of Winnipeg.  

UPDATE: (Saturday afternoon):  A blowing snow advisory has been issued for Winnipeg and the Red River valley for Sunday as strong NW winds of 50-60 gusting to 70-80 km/h develop overnight into Sunday morning. The strong winds will combine with fresh or falling snow to produce poor visibilities in open areas, with blizzard-like conditions possible in some areas, especially in the southern RRV.  The extent of blowing snow will depend on how much new snow falls overnight and Sunday, which currently looks to be in the 5 cm range for most of the RRV, including Winnipeg.  Conditions should improve Sunday evening as winds decrease.  Note that NWS has issued blizzard warnings for eastern ND for Sunday, inlcluding the RRV from Pembina to the South Dakota border.


  1. There are many rumblings that Spring will arrive early here in Southern Manitoba but i'm skeptical about that at this point. The greater snowpack compared to last year likely argues against an early Spring plus there are some indications that the 1st half of March could be colder than normal which also puts the idea of an early spring to bed.

    Although anything's possible I wouldn't be too excited about the prospect of an early spring just yet.

  2. Not to mention the pattern here of late has us much colder than even our neighbours to the west such as Regina where there's much less snow and that's likely not gonna change anytime soon. Although it will be milder here this week it will still be even milder off to the west.

  3. Have not looked at any long range temperature forecasts, but barring another persistent outbreak of arctic air, the extensive negative snowcover anomalies off to our south and west, along with a continuing El Nino favour an early snowmelt. Even with a considerable snowdepth.. the proximity of snowfree areas is what can allow for a rapid warming and loss of snowcover.

    We should get off to a good start the latter part of this week with above freezing temperatures and rain anticipated.

    1. Winter snowpack is now gone.. can't say you weren't warned about the potential for early loss of snow cover ;)

      New system threatens to produce accumulating snow if precipitation rates remain high enough overnite. Shouldn't last long however with warm, moist ground, and strong March sunshine causing melting from above and beneath at the same time.