Sunday, June 29, 2008

Heat building over Prairies

A large upper ridge of high pressure over western Canada is bringing the season's first taste of hot weather over the western Prairies today which will be spreading east into southern MB by Monday. High temperatures in southern Alberta will soar into the mid 30s today, while parts of the Okanagan in BC will hit the 40 degree mark. Here in Winnipeg, we have yet to hit 30 degrees this year.. but it looks like we will finally hit the mark on Monday with a forecast high of 31c. The 30 degree weather will be short lived however as cooler air moves in on the July 1st holiday and persists for the rest of the week. Temperatures on the July 1st holiday will still be warm.. in the upper 20s.. but they will be cooling off by evening as northerly winds bring in cooler air from the north. It should be dry however with no precipitation expected. Conditions for the remainder of the week look pleasant with generally sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 20s. Long range models are hinting at a return of hotter weather over southern MB next weekend into next week.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Showers and thunderstorms possible tonight into Friday

A developing low pressure system over southern Saskatchewan will tap an increasingly moist and unstable airmass over the Dakotas to trigger scattered thunderstorms over North Dakota today. Some of the storms over the Dakotas are expected to become severe later today into this evening with much of the northern Plains in a slight to moderate risk of severe thunderstorms. As the low pressure system advances east, showers and thunderstorms will spread over southern MB tonight.. with the potential for locally heavy rain (20-30 mm).. intense lightning.. and hail, especially over southwestern MB. This activity will push through Winnipeg and the Red River Valley Friday with drier conditions moving in by evening as a dry slot pushes in. Cooler unsettled weather will return for Saturday in behind the low with brisk northwest winds and a few showers over southern MB.  Highs will likely struggle to reach 20 degrees Saturday. Sunny and warmer weather is expected for Sunday Monday and Tuesday with highs likely approaching the 30 degree mark by the July 1st holiday.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Storms develop over east Winnipeg

Thunderstorms have developed along a lake breeze convergence zone between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba, setting up right through the middle of Winnipeg. (see radar image) The N-S convection axis cuts right through the middle of the city, with storms pretty much confined to the east end, nothing but blue skies in the west. Localized downpours, and small hail have been reported with the storms. Storms are moving to the south-southeast at about 40 km/h.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Severe tstms over SW Manitoba

A line of severe thunderstorms has developed over SW Manitoba this afternoon, bringing hail as large as ping pong balls between Melita and Virden and loonie size hail just south of Melita. This line is moving east at 40 km/h and has the potential to produce additional large hail and damaging wind gusts of 90 to 100 km/h.  This line will continue moving east through the afternoon, possibly reaching the Red River valley this evening. We'll have to see if these storms remain severe by that time.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Red River update

The Hydrologic Forecast Centre of Manitoba Water Stewardship advises that the Red River continues to rise due to heavy rainfall June 6-12, 2008. The crest is presently at Grand Forks, North Dakota.

At Emerson the river has risen 13 feet since early June and is expected to rise another 6 feet before it crests on June 22. At Ste. Agathe the river has risen 8.7 feet since early June and is expected to rise another 4.9 feet before it crests on June 24. In downtown Winnipeg the river level this morning stood at 8.1 feet above datum, a rise of 1.7 feet since early June. It is expected to crest between 9 and 10 feet above datum June 24-26.

Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) will continue to operate St. Andrews Dam at Lockport to maintain levels below 8.5 feet (Forks walkway level) in Winnipeg for as long as possible. However a minor inundation of the walkways is expected for a period of one week beginning this weekend.

Levels just upstream of St. Andrews dam have been declining as usual due to opening of the dam. PWGSC will issue information regarding operation of the locks for boat traffic. River levels from Selkirk to Breezy Point will rise 4 to 6 feet above normal summer levels which will not present any significant difficulties.

While the Red River will be well above average for the next few weeks it will remain well within its banks unless additional widespread heavy rain develops during the next few weeks. Boaters and canoeists are advised that the river current will be stronger than usual for the next few weeks, and therefore caution is advised.

Finally! - sunny warm stretch ahead

Well, it's been a long time in coming.. but it finally looks like southern MB will see an extended spell of sunny warm weather this week.  An upper ridge will be building over the Prairies this week, giving warmer temperatures in the mid 20s and more importantly, a lack of precipitation bearing weather systems.  This will finally give southern MB a break from a week of heavy rainfall, and a much needed spell of warm weather. Southern MB has basically been below normal temperature wise for the past 8 weeks.  This upcoming stretch of warmer weather, along with adequate soil moisture in all regions, will go a long way in accelerating crop development which has been slow due to the cool spring.           

Thursday, June 12, 2008

100 mm of rain past week..drier and warmer weather next week

It's been a wet week over southern MB with 3 major rain events since last Friday. An average of 100 mm of rain has fallen in Winnipeg over the past 6 days according to city rain gauges, ranging from 80 mm over southwest areas of the city to 115 mm over northeast sections. Here at my site in Charleswood, I've picked up 90 mm since Friday, with 80-85 mm at the Winnipeg airport, and 85 mm at the Forks. This has quickly alleviated any concerns about dry soil conditions across the Red River valley and across Southern MB.. with standing water now appearing in ditches and low lying areas. Amazing how quickly things can change in Southern MB!

The good news is that it looks like drier and warmer weather will be on tap next week, with no major weather systems moving through the Dakotas (a common source for heavy rain in early summer) Hopefully this signals the change to a much needed warm weather pattern over southern MB, which has seen a below normal temperature pattern since April 21st (past 7-8 weeks)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Cool unsettled week ahead

Enjoy the dry weekend.. things will be getting wetter by Monday, with cool and unsettled weather likely most of this week. A system will be crossing southern MB on Monday bringing a general 10-20 mm of rain across the area, with embedded thunderstorms possible. Another system moving across the Northern Plains is expected to bring another shot of rain into southern MB by Wednesday, with 10-20 mm possible again (possibly higher amounts due to convection) June is the wettest month on average in Southern MB as weather systems moving across midcontinent tap increasingly warmer and more humid air from the states and draw it northward, resulting in more frequent showers and thunderstorms across the southern Prairies.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday soaker!

A real soaker out there today with wind swept heavy rain falling across Winnipeg and much of Southern MB.  I've received 28 mm as of 8:45 am, about 18 of that in the past couple of hours. City sewers having trouble keeping up with the volume of rain with waterlogged streets everywhere this morning.  Highest amount so far is 42 mm at the CWB site in Glenlea south of Winnipeg.  Radar shows moderate to heavy rain continuing this morning before tapering off this afternoon. With rainfall rates of 5-10 mm per hour in the heaviest bands, we could end up with rainfall totals of 40-60 mm across portions of the Red River valley.   Will try to keep you up to date on rainfall totals as the day progresses.. Feel free to pass along any rainfall reports you have in the comments section.  

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Not much rain last night.. Significant rain possible Friday

Well the rain promised for last night and today fizzled over much of southern MB, with only light amounts of 5 mm or less reported in most areas. Here in Winnipeg, we had some light showers move in last evening giving amounts less than 1 mm, but the area of rain quickly dissipated overnight.  Attention now turns to a more potent system developing over the Northern Plains Thursday which has the potential to spread significant rainfall amounts across Southern MB by Friday.  This system will be tapping a warm moist airmass from the southern US, producing numerous showers and thunderstorms over the Northern Plains Thursday along with severe thunderstorms. This area of showers and thunderstorms will be moving northward into southern MB Thursday night into Friday morning, giving heavy rain at times. Models are indicating a potential of 25 mm of rain in most areas by Friday with up to 50 mm possible in more persistent showers and thunderstorms.  So if you're still waiting for a good soaking rain in southern MB.. Friday may be the day! Stay tuned..