Friday, February 01, 2008

January 2008 climate summary

Mild first half.. Cold second half.. Little snow overall. (Click here for detailed stats from my station)

The predominant feature of January 2008 in Winnipeg was the lack of precipitation. Only about 4 cm of snow was recorded for the month in Winnipeg, the lowest January snowfall here since 1973 (2.8 cm) and the 4th lowest January snowfall since records began in 1873. The only other precipitation for the month was a brief freezing rain event on the 6th that left about 1 mm of ice making for slippery conditions on city streets and sidewalks. In total, the 5 mm of precipitation at the airport would make this January the 7th driest on record. The lack of precipitation was due to a storm track that was either north of south of the region, with precipitation bearing systems generally bypassing southern MB. The few that did cross the region brought limited moisture. The lack of snowfall comes on the heels of a snowier than normal December that saw about twice the average snowfall. Snowpack was at a consistent 17 cm much of the month.. about half the snowdepth this time last year. Up to Jan 31st, I've recorded 62 cm of snow in Charleswood since October, a little below the average of 69 cm by the end of January.

Temperature wise, January 2008 actually finished about one degree above normal but that was mainly due to a mild first half that saw temperatures climb to a monthly high of +3C on the 6th. A pattern change by mid month ushered in typically cold weather for the last half of the month.. with some bitter wind chills of -47 recorded near the end of the month. Even so, the lowest temperature of the month was a moderate -32.9C on the 14th at the airport, -32.0C at my site on the 31st, with no record lows established during the month.

Overall, a split month temperature-wise with little snow.


  1. It will be interesting to see if what the models now show for the first half of February actually pans out.

    Models show a definite increase in moisture, with the first shot of snow being Sunday night and to a greater extent on Monday, although models show most of Monday's snow being in extreme southern Manitoba and points south. However, they show a pretty good snow event around the 15th, but that's a long way off, so it's hard to say what will happen.

    Still, when a pattern gets a bit boring, it's at least nice to see something interesting show up. Temperatures, according to the same models, look to be a little above normal next week, and even a bit warmer the following week, which would be consistent with the increased snow chances being indicated.


  2. Possible Blizzard Friday night and Saturday for Southern Manitoba and Southern Saskatchewan. It seems like we have gotten only Blizzards this winter for active weather, and they weren't even what most would consider to be a real "Blizzard!"

  3. I just read the NWS Grand Forks weather story/outlook page. They are suggesting a much more changeable, stormy pattern for the next couple weeks. This could lead to a much more exciting situation than how the winter is going so far.

    All we can hope for at this point is for an excellent, preferably stormy summer!

  4. Yeah.. the weather here the past few weeks has been dull, dull, dull. I can't get too excited about a couple cm of snow and high windchills. I was in Toronto yesterday during their big snowstorm.. now that was more like it! Give me a good storm over wind chills any day!

    The Grand Forks outlook is referring to a more changeable pattern the next week or so due to clipper systems moving across the Prairies. However, these systems have been starved of moisture by the time they reach Manitoba, so I don't know how much snow we'll be seeing through this "stormy" pattern. But periodic strong winds and large temperature swings will be likely over the period.

    Perhaps we'll have a better chance of seeing a major storm in March as the active storm track south of us pushes north, and sets up more favourable conditions for Colorado low type systems.