Monday, January 12, 2009

Cold week ahead.. relief by weekend

Brisk northerly winds have ushered in another Arctic airmass over southern MB this morning with temperatures remaining in the minus 20s today and windchills in the -35 range. Clear and cold conditions are expected tonight as the Arctic ridge passes over us, with temperatures dropping into the mid minus 30s. On Tuesday, a system from northern AB will drop through Saskatchewan, spreading cloud and some snow over southern MB Tuesday afternoon and evening. Behind this system will be another reinforcing shot of Arctic air for Wednesday and Thursday. Finally though, it looks like we'll be getting some relief from the frigid weather by the weekend as a large push of mild Pacific air spreads east across the Prairies by late week. The milder air will be slowest to arrive in MB, taking a couple of days to flush out the lingering Arctic air on Friday and Saturday. But models continue to indicate that by Sunday, temperatures in southern MB will finally be rising to well above normal values, with above freezing temperatures quite possible Sunday and Monday. So hang in there.. some relief is on the way!


  1. Checking in again from south of the border...but from previous shifts here in Grand Forks ECMWF was by far the best model...closely followed by the GEM on this previous sun night system.

    Next one is similar. The wind belt from Sask into wrn ND/SD to get hit again but not too bad in our area.

    FYI My in-laws in the Minot ND area are just snowed in out in the country from all their snow this season. Minot has been hit hard very hard....snow depth at Minot approaching 40 inches. Super Walmart closed today in Minot due to fear of roof collapse.

    As far as cold coldest temps likely Regina into cntrl ND in patch of high...but still cold.

    As someone who moved up here for the cold dont wish the warm too much I much prefer the 20 to 30 below stuff than 20 to 30 above :)

  2. With a "high" of -29 C on Wednesday I do not want to know how cold Wednesday night will be!!!!

    -40 C anyone???>>

  3. Dan..

    Interesting stats about Minot.. seems like every clipper system has been tracking through that way. And another on the way tomorrow. Amazing that they have a 40" snowdepth. And it's only January! Let's hope they get a break with our Pacific flow by next weekend. (which I'm greatly looking forward to :)

  4. It is going to be cold tonight! I don't think Winnipeg will see anything incredible, because the wind should be west to south. On the other hand rural communities, especially around and east of the Red River Valley will probably be in the -35 to -40 range.

    Thursday could be even colder, however unless the wind forecast changes to a more north-west direction, rather than just west Winnipeg probably won't manage -40.

    A couple cities will probably reach -40 over the next few days, it will be interesting to watch.

  5. Wind chill warning now issued for southern Manitoba!

    - 40 to -45 C
    Ouch !
    That is gonna STING!

  6. The RUC is showing -40 temperatures for the Red River Valley and areas east. It is going to be a COLD NIGHT!

  7. Temperatures dropping quickly this evening at the airport with a light northwest flow. We pick up a light southwest flow overnight which may prevent the airport from bottoming out towards that -40 mark.. along with some of that high level cloud moving in from the northwest overnight. But areas east of Winnipeg could be in the -35 to -40C range Tuesday morning as the RUC suggests.

  8. Dan...

    hello, I read Rob's blog fairly often, and am glad to see more professional input on this blog from trained meteorologists such as Rob and yourself.

    As one who finds this time of year; the lead up to spring flood season fairly interesting, I was wondering if there is any such place online where one can see Snow Water Equivalency maps for North Dakota/RRV. I know of such maps for the canadian prairies available on the SOCC's website, but I was wondering if you know of any from the US also?

    Thanks for any future reply,

  9. Already -30 here, with -40 wind chill. I don't expect any problem reaching -40 for an hour overnight, unless if the wind is too high, or that high level cloud moves in early.

  10. Winnipeg Airport:@ 8:40 pm

    -32 temp
    -43 windchill

  11. Very tricky forecast in terms of overnite lows tonite other than stating the obvious ... very cold. Arctic ridge line has built in to most of southern Manitoba already. Winds have died off very early this evening promoting strong radiative cooling as mentioned. Temperatures are running between -30 and -33 C outside Winnipeg with YWG up to -29 C in the past hour.

    GFS trying to show main high south of the area by midnite with that light SW flow over us. However current surface analysis does not match up to well with GFS prog for 00Z. Main elongated ridge still well off to the NW.. and there are no SW wind barbs showing up. Have a feeling we might get stuck with NW flow for a bit longer than model suggests... but tought to say really.

    The last fly in the ointment are those high clouds. Looking at 700 MB relative humidity from GFS... areas SW of a line from Brandon to Grand forks will be cloudy by dawn. Those areas may well dodge a bullet but it is not going to help Winnipeg and SE Manitoba it appears.

    My guess for overnite lows:
    Steinbach/Sprague: -38 C
    Winnipeg (YWG): -35 C
    Winnipeg city: -31 C
    Emerson/Hallock: -33 C
    Grand Forks: -30 C
    Fargo: -27 C

    Snow depth and water equivalent for the northern plains can be found on the main NWS site along the left hand side... observations --> snow cover. Then under Snow Information --> National analyses. I would love to see a map including both Canadian and American portions of the RRV in terms of snow cover and even total annual precip for 2008.

  12. The RUC forecast is matching perfectly with the conditions so far. At 03Z the forecast is for temperatures around -31C, and that is exactly what the actual conditions are (-30.8C). The model shows a constant cooling rate throughout the night. The RUC also shows temperatures between -40 and -43 for the RRV. Areas farther east will be slightly warmer, but not much (-37 to -40). Based on what the RUC forecasted in Saskatchewan earlier this winter I have a high level of confidence in its forecast.

  13. Jon et al..

    In addition to those online sites, MB water stewardship sends a plane up in Feb or March to do an aerial snow survey of southern MB and northern ND to gauge snow conditions before melt, but I don't know if they put those maps on their website. If I find out anything, I'll let you know.

  14. Carberry is down to a chilling -36. Maybe it will be the cold spot tonight.

  15. WHOA!
    According to SHAW channel 48

    -34 C temp
    -48 windchill
    around 9:20 p.m

  16. Well.. SW flow starting to show up off the Manitoba escarpment at Swan River and Dauphin. However when that translates to the RRV is hard to say. Leading arc of high clouds reaching from Virden to Swan River.

    Temperatures tanking rapidly between Emerson and Grand Forks as the calm winds and ridge spread SE.. -35 C at the border and -33 C at Grand Forks wouldn't surprise me now.

    The odds of seeing anything like -43 C in the RRV are extremely remote. 850 MB temps and 500-1000 MB thickness do not support record cold values. An exceptional inversion would have to form just near the surface. The best chance for -40 C will be over the ridge and swale terrain of SE Manitoba. The sandy soil and sheltered valleys allow for optimal radiational cooling.

  17. -38.0C in Gladstone, and -35.1C in Dugald.

    Probably around -32C here in Steinbach, we are still on track for the -41C low advertised by the RUC.

  18. The coldestest spot I could find was Sprague at -40.3

    Good call who ever mentioned -40 potential in SE Manitoba!


  19. Good frosty morning, Winnipeg!

    Lots of -35 to -38C readings around the edge of the city this morning, with a few spots to the north and east making the -40 club.

    Bird's Hill -40.5C (congrats Daniel!)
    Oakbank -40C

    Places like Beausejour, Sanford and SE Winnipeg at Deacons Corners hit -39C (CWB mesonet). -36C at my site as well as YWG airport, coldest of the season so far.

    Downtown Winnipeg a relatively "balmy" -30C at the Forks.

    Looks like Sprague checks in as the coldest site in southern MB at -41.3C as of 6 am.

  20. -43C in Sprague this morning!

    By the way, in case you're wondering why there isn't a windchill warning out when the windchill is stated as minus 40 or lower this morning, EC only issues windchill warnings if the sustained wind speed is at least 15 km/h with a windchill of -40 or lower, for at least 3 hours. Technically, windchill is not really significant if the wind speed is lighter than that. This morning, wind speeds are generally less than 10 km/h.. thankfully.

    Tomorrow will be a different story.. another Arctic high building in from the north will produce northerly winds of 20-30 km/h (similar to yesterday) which will combine with -25 to -30C temperatures to produce extreme wind chills of -45 or so. Ouch!

  21. The graph feature isn't working on the Steinbach Agriculture station, so I don't know how cold we actually got...I'll find out tomorrow. I expect the low was either -39 or -40.

    Good going Sprague...I think -43 is a new record...Rob can you verify that?

  22. Well they just issued another windchill warning as of 11:00 am update!

    Did any records fall this morning??

    Who ever mentioned that SE Manitoba COULD hit -40 last night that was some sharp forecasting! :)

  23. At least 5 record lows set this morning over southern MB:

    (old record in brackets)

    Sprague.. -43.0C (-41.1 1979)
    Pinawa... -39.2C (-38.3 1979)
    Gretna... -37.5C (-34.8 1999)
    Pilot Mound.. -35.3C (-34.3 1972)
    Fischer Branch.. -38.0 (-37.0 1988)

    Winnipeg Airport got down to -37.0C, 3 degrees shy of the record low of -40.0C on this date in 1881.

  24. Go to Environment Canada's website and click on "warnings" for Manitoba....The WHOLE province is RED
    That is the first time I have ever seen the whole province under a warning all at once!

  25. Thanks for that info Dan and Rob!

    Sure is a cold day out there today, but at least not as cold as last night and this morning!