Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A respite from wind chill

The cold is here to stay for awhile, but at least the wind is nice and light today which will make those -20ish temperatures more bearable. In fact, with bright sunshine and afternoon highs near -21C, it won't feel too bad at all out there today. For tonight, a weak system from Alberta will cross southern MB bringing some light snow to the area, with a dusting to 2 cm possible in most localities including Winnipeg. Behind the system, northerly winds of 20 km/h will develop for Thursday, with temperatures in the mid minus 20s producing windchills in the minus 35 to minus 38 range (still shy of -40 warning level) Winds should drop off again Friday so windchills warnings may not be necessary for the rest of the week over much of southern MB. On Saturday, a storm system over the central Plains will bring an area of snow over the Dakotas into southern MB. Like last weekend's storm, the bulk of the snowfall with this next storm system is expected to remain south of the border, however it's possible parts of southern MB could see 5-10 cm on Saturday. Unfortunately, gusty northerly winds are forecast behind this system for Sunday with temperatures in the mid minus 20s and windchills likely in the -40 to -45 warning range again. Below normal temperatures are expected to continue through the first part of next week, with models hinting at some moderation by Christmas.

Note that Winnipeg has had a daily maximum temperature below -20C since Sunday Dec 14th. With forecast highs below -20C for the next 5 days, it's possible we may go 10 straight days before we crack the -20C mark again. This would be the longest such streak for a December in recent memory. (longest -20C streak for a December in Winnipeg was 15 straight days from Dec 11-25 1879, during Winnipeg's coldest December on record)


  1. With Saturday storm I could still see this missing us to the south again!
    Hopefully I'm wrong and we get some fresh snow.
    I mean with such a brutal cold airmass over us it is gonna be hard for the storms to move north over us!

  2. I agree Daniel. Having two "storms" two weekends in a row is mighty suspicious. My money is on 2 to 4cm, not 5 to 10cm.

  3. The NWS is showing a moderate risk of 10cm of snow, and slight risk of 20cm of snow for Saturday. Although in the last storm the moderate risk of 10cm of snow amounted to 2cm, so take it how you like.

  4. Scott!
    The only thing that can be for certain now days...
    IS that more COLD air is coming!!!
    That is a guarantee....

  5. You can always guarantee a forecast you DON'T want, because it is only the forecasts that you WANT that fall through the cracks.

    Just like Parliament has lost confidence in the government, I have lost confidence in the weather models.

  6. OH WOW!!!!
    (0) (0)

    -47 C @ Key Lake Sk as of 10:00p.m!!!

  7. Models coming in line with snow event Friday night-Saturday over southern MB. Looks like a general 2-5 cm over southern MB, with a fairly sharp inverted trof setting up over the Red river valley by Saturday morning. Inverted trofs have been known to bring heavier than advertised snow amounts to the Red River valley so we'll have to see what this one brings. The very cold airmass however will limit available moisture.

    The other thing is we may break our -20C streak Saturday as temperatures moderate briefly with this trof. We could rise up to -18C or so before dropping below the -20C mark again Sunday.

  8. 2-5cm is a far cry from Weather Networks advertised 10-15cm. How come weathernet seems to always have way higher amounts and it seems like it always busts?

  9. OK.
    Winter storm watch issued for North Dakota with 6 inches or more of snow!
    Someone in southern Manitoba could get a few inches out of this storm.
    Maybe even more if the storms trends a little to the north~!!

  10. I'm not sure where Weather Network is getting 15 cm from.. none of the guidance I saw gave anything close to that for Winnipeg.

    Stranger things have happened, but that looks like an overestimation to me. Once again, things look "better" for North Dakota where they'll have more snow, and more wind.

  11. I think we may see a decent snow event here in Winnipeg. That is a powerful storm setting up for the midwest tonight. As the trough sharpens up tomorrow night, it looks like it will stall out over our region into Sunday. If we can tap the moisture the midwest storm is ingesting, 15cm is not out of the question. But yeah...ND will receive more!

  12. Bottom line for me is that I won't believe it until I see it. I just have no confidence in the models these days. Down at EC I think they have much better models, because they are geared more toward Canadian weather. For us folks using the GFS, NAM, WRF, etc there is just no break from bad forecasts. My money is still on 2 to 4cm. Every event that has passed by peaks 1 to 3 days prior to the storm, then forecasts spiral into a downward trend towards almost no snowfall.

    Although it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Grand Forks saw 30cm, and Winnipeg saw only a dusting. That is just the way things roll when you are keenly watching them. That must be one of Murphy's laws. I think we saw more snowstorms before I actually started to watch and forecast them.

  13. Newest GEM run shows about 7 mm water equivalent in Winnipeg tonight through Saturday, with about 10-12 mm towards the southern RRV. That could translate to 10 cm of snow in Winnipeg by Saturday evening, and 15 cm closer to the border. NAM giving Winnipeg around 10-12 mm water equivalent, which could translate to 15 cm of snow depending on snow/water ratios. Latest radar starting to fill in nicely to our west with visibilities down to 1 mile or less in snow over eastern SK and western ND, so we may be getting some decent snow out of this after all.

    I mean c'mon.. what's this world coming to when Las Vegas gets bigger snowfalls than us?! :)

  14. I am predicting 6 to 12cm for Winnipeg. Local amounts to 15cm along the international border.