Monday, January 14, 2008

Strong winds Tuesday and Wednesday

Enjoy the light winds today.. because things are going to a lot different within the next 24 hours. By tonight, southerly winds are going to be increasing over southern MB in advance of a developing storm system over Alberta. By Tuesday morning, southerly winds will be howling through the Red River valley with gusts to 70 km/h or more giving local blowing and drifting snow in open areas. Temperatures will moderate through the day with highs near -5 by evening, but much of the day will feel colder due to the strong winds, especially in the morning. Little new snow is expected on Tuesday however by Tuesday night, a cold front will push through southern MB bringing some snow with winds shifting into the northwest giving gusts again in the 70 km/h range or locally higher. This will create areas of blowing and drifting snow overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, with near-blizzard conditions possible in rural areas depending on how much fresh snow falls Tuesday night. The northwest winds will also mark the change to a more prolonged period of cold weather moving into southern MB with below normal temperatures likely through next week at least.


  1. Here in the city of Steinbach we have 1-2cm of fresh snow on the ground from Wednesday that hasn't been compacted. I don't know if this "blowable" snow existing outside the city but if it does it will give a good start to creating a good blizzard.

    Unfortunately for this region the Environment Canada forecast shifted from predicted 5-10cm this morning to only 2cm as of the latest forecast. Hopefully we will see at least 5cm!

  2. Talk about being the chosen ones...we are being plagued by a narrow wedge of arctic high pressure. A "clipperesque" low in Alberta is tapping a warm pacific/chinook flow ...temps in the low teens above zero in SW sask.... beach weather!

    After the low tracks over Manitoba...the fun really begins... we get locked into a pattern of endless, brutal arctic outbreaks. We will be the in the worst possible spot... as always... right between the dreaded 'arctic vortex' (just the name is scary isn't it?) and a blocking west coast ridge. In this pattern ... Manitoba is ensured of receiving the coldest air in all of North America ... aren't we just so special here?

    To those living on the east coast and lower great lakes that complain about a lack of 'cold and snow' ... just one week in Winnipeg will cure you.

  3. As far as being the chosen ones, pity the poor folks in Regina today.. they only got up to -8 this afternoon with a SE wind up the Wascana River valley. Meanwhile, in nearby Moose Jaw it was a balmy +3C with gusty SW winds. Gotta hate these river valleys in the winter! (as we'll see tomorrow!)

    As for us, yeah, looks cold for the foreseeable future.. but hey we missed out on much of the cold stuff for the past 4 weeks.. that's 4 weeks less winter we have to put up with, right?? (I sure hope we don't make up for that in March!)

  4. Tue Jan 15th - Interesting temperature contrasts across southern SK this morning. Regina still stuck with a valley wind and -9 at 7 am while Moose Jaw is +5!

    Similar conditions will be experienced across southern MB this afternoon.. Winnipeg will be trapped in the cold southerly valley flow with temperatures only around -10 or so, with gusty south winds making it feel even colder. However areas southwest of Winnipeg (west of the Pembina escarpment) will be rising towards the freezing mark with lighter winds as well. Ironically, Winnipeg will likely see its warmest temperatures this evening as the cold front pushes through.. as winds shift into the west and briefly tap some of that milder air before the cold advection hits.

  5. Regina popped from -7 to +2 in one hour as their winds shifted into the west. Colder air is on the way though with blizzard conditions now developing over western SK..

  6. WOW
    Winds are now sustained @ 56km/h
    as of 11:13
    now if only we had a fresh snowpack
    things could have been interesting

  7. Well the chance for a blizzard still exists over southern Manitoba tomorrow morning. Winds of 40 G 60 are forecast to occur in the Steinbach and Winnipeg regions, but I don't think an "in-city" blizzard will be possible tomorrow because the winds won't be strong enough.

    The EC forecast has bumped up the snowfall forecast to 2-4cm instead of just 2cm. It looks like if the upper range (4cm) falls a blizzard may be inevitable tomorrow with all criteria being met. Unfortunately EC will have to call spotters or guess at visibility in Steinbach as we don't have an official Environment Canada Weather Station...If Emerson and Gretna have one then why doesn't Steinbach those cities are a small fraction the size of Steinbach?

    Rob you need to work on getting Steinbach a station, I believe there isn't even a single station in our entire forecast region. When Winnipeg has two and other areas like the Morden Winkler area have three or more it doesn't make much sense that we don't have any at all!

  8. Scott..

    Yes, a site in Steinbach would be most welcome... the EC forecasters in Winnipeg have always wanted one there. Unfortunately, EC is currently under some severe budget pressure, and resources are pretty tight right now to install new weather stations. In fact, EC may actually have to close some sites due to financial pressures! It's possible that EC may re-evaluate their entire observing network.. which may perhaps relocate a station to Steinbach, but that's just speculation on my part.

    The good news is that other organizations such as MB agriculture, MB Forestry, and Canadian Wheat Board are stepping up to the plate and installing their own weather station networks. In fact, MB agriculture has a site in Steinbach, and I wouldn't be surprised to see CWB install one in the Steinbach area next year as well.

    In addition, personal weather stations from hobbyists are popping up all over the place, including one at The Carillon in Steinbach.
    ( These sites can also give some very good real time weather data (although visibility and snowfall are usually not reported with these hobby stations)

  9. I have looked at the Manitoba Agriculture one and the CWB one in relatively near-by Landmark. The "MB AG" station is nice for temperature, humidity, and rainfall however like other meteorologists at EC I am sceptical of the wind speed. I have seen the station, which is up on a tower (which I assume is the regulation 10m) but the winds never seem to surpass the 60km/h mark, even when areas like Emerson and Winnipeg are recording gusts to 70 and 80km/h. I know that winds varies with the region, but it seem the MB AG one is usually around (I mean that quite generally) 10km/h less than most other major station within a reasonable distance.

    This summer on August 28th (correct me if I am wrong)the day in which a line of supercells passed through the Steinbach area. The MB AG anemometer recorded a maximum gust of 99km/h. This seems awfully low seeing as the damage that was caused from the storm. At a near by superstore one of the "cart-shelters" was ripped right off its foundation and tossed about 300m (about) to the highway. From my wind experience I think that it would take more than 90-100km/h winds to knock a shelter that was bolted to concrete off its foundation and thrown that distance. This seems more like tornadic damage than wind damage, although they can look similar!

    I know that the anemometer is probably half a kilometer, or maybe a bit more away, but it was in direct line with the way the storm was moving, and so it should have (and I know it did) pass right over the station.

    Any comments?

    Blizzard criteria may be met tomorrow in the Steinbach area. EC has now increased wind predictions to 40 G 60 with 2-4cm of snow. The amount of snow will be the only limiting factor, although snow was blowing around well today with minimal powder on the ground!

  10. We didn't get much new snow at all with the cold front Wednesday night.. as a result, there was very little in the way of blowing snow Thursday morning. I notice that the snowpack has a shiny crust on it again.. left over by that freezing rain we had a couple of weeks ago. What little loose snow we had after that was blown away by the strong southerly winds Tuesday. As a result, we're probably safe from any blowing snow problems until we get some new snow.

    As far as the MB-ag station at Steinbach, I can't say why the wind speeds seem a bit lower.. but as long as the equipment is reliable, and properly installed in an exposed area at least 10 m up, then the wind speeds should be fairly accurate for the area. The Red River valley stations are sometimes windier than sites outside the valley due to funnelling effects through the river valley.