Saturday, March 24, 2007

Temperatures soar over SW Manitoba.. fog robs Winnipeg/Red River valley

Sunshine, southerly winds and a lack of snowcover allowed temperatures to soar over southwest MB today with temperatures reaching 19C in Melita in the extreme southwest corner of the province. Elsewhere over southwestern MB, temperatures climbed into the 10-15c range from Brandon and Dauphin through Portage to Morden. Further east however, fog and low cloud trapped in the Red River valley kept temperatures much cooler, with Winnipeg struggling to only 3C by late afternoon. Skies cleared over they city and eastern suburbs in the afternoon allowing temperatures downtown to hit +7C, but low cloud and fog persisted much of the day over the western suburbs keeping temperatures below +2c until evening.

Further west over southern SK, it was a record breaking warm day with temperatures above 20C in many localities, including a high of 23C at Coronach and Val Marie and 19.5C at Regina.


  1. Wow...they built this city in the wrong spot! As if the heavy clay soil and flooding threat weren't enough, we have to also contend with this wretched 'valley effect' on our temperatures.

    It is interesting to note that over your recording station fog persisted until evening while closer to the downtown area clearing occurred around 2 PM. Was this related to better heating from a longer fetch of trees and buildings?

    If the red river valley would atleast have soem scattered woodlots and windbreaks instead of being of vast, bleak tundra...late winter temperatures would be considerably milder and snow melt would occur earlier. Other cities like Minneapolis, Ottawa, Montreal seem to have no problem reaching 15 C even with a foot of snow on the ground...but not in Winnipeg, where the sounding as of 6 PM showed temperatures of 14 C just above the fog layer.

    Looks like any elevated instability will be focused south of us in the dakotas and minnesota for tonite and tomorrow. Then a very big low moves up from the southwest on could bring lots of rain and thunderstorms or if mother nature is really cruel to us, snow! If we get another 30-40 cm of snow in the valley it will be June before we see our lawns.


  2. Dan..

    Yes, Saturday was a weird one.. in Charleswood we didn't see the sun until 5 or 6 pm.. At 4 pm, there was still dense fog around Wilkes and the south Perimeter with vsbys down to 1/4 mile. Yet at the same time, it was sunny downtown! The cloud and fog seemed to clear from the east on Saturday, so that western areas of Winnipeg were slowest to clear. I don't think it had anything to do with the city buildings or anything, since the clearing was fairly widespread from east and southeast of the city.

    I think Sunday should be a much nicer day in Winnipeg.. I don't think we'll be trapped with all that low cloud and fog like we were on Saturday. And we'll be starting out milder too with lighter winds. If we get enough sun, I think Winnipeg will get into the double digits.. highs around 11-12C with temperatures of 16-17C not too far away to our southwest.

    And yes, I'm looking out for Wednesday.. could be some heavy rain around these parts.. not what you want to hear in the Red River valley in late March!

  3. Robbed again! For the second day in a row, low cloud and fog in the Red River valley rob Winnipeg of what could have been a much nicer day. We're stuck at 7C this Sunday afternoon with clouds and fog, while just off to our west it's sunny and 13C in Portage and 14C in Morden.

    Oh well, at least that snow is going fast.. maybe it'll all be gone in time for that forecast high of 20C to be reached Wednesday!

  4. Allow me to echo you sentiments Rob....we were robbed again! Done in once again by that fog that (I guess) advected right up the valley from North Dakota this morning with those S 20 winds.
    I will not underestimate the power of fog in this part of the province ever again....


    P.S. See you on the beach on Wednesday! {rolls eyes}

  5. Hi Rob,

    First of all, let me congratulate you for your site, it's just fantastic, with lots of information and very nice graphics.

    Excuse me for my english, as it's quite poor, althogh I'm trying to improve it :) I'm writing from Spain, some months ago I met a guy from Winnipeg, we still keep in touch, and finding information about Winnipeg's weather, I ended on your site.

    I love all stuff related to weather and climate, and I've learned quite a lot of things about the weather there in the 'Peg, Manitoba and Canada thanks to your site and others.

    So,keep on with this nice work, and I hope all you winnipegers enjoy a great spring and summer (without floodings I hope ;) ).


    P.S.: Is there any other good source of information about forecasts apart from Environment Canada? Thanks in advance!

  6. Hi Mikel.. thanks for your nice comments, glad you enjoy the site. The weather here is sure a lot different than the beautiful weather you enjoy in Spain, but one thing's for sure.. there's always something to talk about here! Adios from Winnipeg!

  7. Hi again Rob,

    Yes most of Spain is sunny and hot, but not the place where I live! It's a mountainous region in the northern coast, near France, and the climate is quite similar to Vancouver's, very rainy and wet, warm in winter and cool in summer. Nevertheless, I prefer it to the extreme hot of central and southern Spain. As you say, there is more to talk about ;)

    I've visited Eastern Canada (Ontario and Quebec), and they are great places, I hope to go to Western Canada next time, it seems very beautiful and the climate very interesting! At least for me :)


    P.S.: I've seen that you have records of YWG dating back to the 19th century. Do you know why is it that EC only has records since 1938? Thanks!

  8. Mikel..

    Weather records for Winnipeg started in 1872 at St John's College downtown. In 1938, the official weather observations were moved to the YWG airport on the west end of the city, where they have continued ever since. Often, we will only use the airport statistics back to 1938 because it's from one dataset.. but officially, we have records back to 1872.

    You can view the St John's college data under my "Stats" dropdown list, and click on "STJ climate"

    And yes, western Canada is beautiful.. the Rockies are magnificent, and BC is breathtaking. Interior BC (Okanagan valley) is much like Spain or Italy with rolling hills, hot dry summers, and lots of fruit trees and vineyards.

  9. Thank you very much for all the info Rob. I hope spring will arrive there soon for you to enjoy it!