Saturday, March 01, 2008

February climate summary

Cold and variable..

In what will likely be a surprising statistic to most Winnipeg residents, Feb 2008 turned out to be the coldest February since… last year! Although the month averaged some 5 degrees below normal (-18.1C at Winnipeg airport, -17.0C at my site), it was still not as cold as Feb 2007 which averaged -18.8C (-16.9C here), thanks to a very cold first half that saw temperatures drop below -40C at the airport. This year, the cold wasn’t as intense, but temperatures were generally below normal most of the month, occasionally interrupted by brief mild spells. The result was a variable month with large swings in temperatures as cold Arctic outbreaks would be moderated every few days by weather systems crossing the province from the west. This roller coaster pattern was often accompanied by gusty winds, with several episodes of severe windchills below -40 during the month adding to the perception that the month was colder than actual temperatures indicated. Temperatures for the month at my location ranged from a high of +0.4C on the 16th, to a low of -34.5C on the 20th.

Snowfall was a little higher than normal, with about 20 cm recorded at my site (14 cm normal for February) This was mainly due to meager snowfalls every few days from passing weather systems, the largest fall giving 6 cm on Feb 28. Snowpack was fairly constant at around 20 cm during the month, about half the snowdepth this time last year. This has led to a low risk of Red River flooding this year barring any major changes in precipitation over the next month or two.

All in all.. a cold but variable month with above average snowfall.


  1. Looking at the GFS things next weekend could be quite nice! After we get through this mini "arctic outbreak" we could be smooth sailing through plus zero temperatures for a number of days starting Friday! Sunday night and Wednesday morning will likely have a couple hours of blizzard conditions. Places like Emerson will likely meet blizzard criteria Wednesday morning if current forecast hold, as for Sunday night we will just have to wait and see!

    Thanks for the weather station information, I will have to save up for the good unit!

  2. I was just looking at the NOAA website and saw something very interesting. In Kansas there are two counties side by side. One county has a severe thunderstorm / tornado warning and the one directly West or it has a blowing snow advisory! Obviously a strong temperature gradient and or cold front in the area.