Saturday, January 31, 2009

Strong winds sweep across southern MB

A low pressure system and associated cold front swept across southern Manitoba on Saturday. Strong northwesterly winds were reported as the front passed through. The strong winds forced the closure of some streets in downtown Winnipeg due to blown out windows and wind blown construction material from downtown highrises.

The following are some of the strongest wind reports today.

Winnipeg..............Northwest 80 gusting 100 km/h at 16:00 CST.
Shoal Lake............Northwest 69 gusting 85 km/h at 13:00 CST.
Oakpoint..............Northwest 69 gusting 81 km/h at 14:00 CST.
Brandon...............Northwest 65 gusting 80 km/h at 12:00 CST.
Portage la Prairie....Northwest 65 gusting to 83 km/h at 15:00 CST.
Melita................Northwest 63 gusting 81 km/h at 13:00 CST.
Dauphin...............Northwest 61 gusting 81 km/h at 13:00 CST.
Carberry..............Northwest 61 gusting 80 km/h at 11:00 CST.
Pilot Mound...........Northwest west 61 km/h at 15:00 CST.
Victoria Beach........Northwest 61 km/h at 16:00 CST.
Gretna................Northwest 59 gusting 70 km/h at 16:00 CST.
Gimli.................Northwest 57 gusting 72 km/h at 14:00 CST.
Wilson creek..........Northwest 56 gusting 87 km/h at 14:00 CST.
Deerwood..............West 56 gusting 76 km/h at 11:00 CST.
Roblin................Northwest 56 gusting 76 km/h at 12:00 CST.
Emerson...............West 54 gusting 63 km/h at 12:00 CST


  1. High wind speed here was about 50 G 70 based on my estimate from the Manitoba Ag weather station.

    The CWB station in the eastern part of the city recorded a gust to 103km/h. The anemometer on that station is only about 12 feet off the ground, so the corrected wind speed would have been even higher.

  2. Just goes to show that every once in a while the severe weather event is worse than anyone thought it could be!

    If the "low level jet" missed Winnipeg and south eastern Manitoba (according to Environment Canada) how did the winds get to be damaging??

    I was outside when that 89 km /h wind gust hit.... I could barely stand up with debris flying everywhere!!!
    It was quite the experience!

  3. January ended up 1.2 degrees below normal here. Much better than the almost 4 degrees below normal in December. 31.5cm of snow this month, although very little water content out of that (7.2mm, +/- a millimeter or two).

    Here's hoping February is warmer and more active weather-wise (January's active weather stalled about three days into the month), although as Rob mentioned, February is usually quite boring.

  4. Rob!
    Yesterday... was the 80 km/h wind that hit ,the strongest SUSTAINED wind ever recorded in Winnipeg?

  5. A story in today's Winnipeg Free Press states that yesterday's wind gust of 100 km/h at Winnipeg airport was the second highest wind gust in Winnipeg's history. That's not quite right.. It's the second highest wind gust in JANUARY, second only to a gust of 106 km/h on Jan 26 1982. Since 1955 however, Winnipeg airport has registered at least 40 occurences of wind gusts of 100 km/h or greater, most recently during the early morning hours of July 17th 2005 when a severe thunderstorm produced wind gusts of 111 km/h. Winnipeg's all-time highesy wind gust was 129 km/h on Feb 20 1965.

    By the way, CWB mesonet recorded wind gusts to 102 km/h at Steinbach and Rosser yesterday, as well ss 98 km/h at CWB HQ downtown Winnipeg. Highest gusts from MB ag-newtork was 96 km/h at Elm Creek and 93 km/h at Woodland.

  6. Daniel..

    There have been at least 2 other occasions that Winnipeg airport has registered a sustained wind speed of 80 km/h.. once on Feb 20 1965 (when we hit our all time gust of 129 km/h) and also during the great March 4th blizzard of 1966 (peak wind gust 113 km/h) In that 1966 blizzard, sustained winds were 75-80 km/h for at least 6 straight hours, along with heavy snow and blowing snow with zero visibility.

    But I'm not sure if the airport has ever recorded a sustained wind over 80 km/h.. I'd have to check the database to see.

  7. During a windstorm on Nov 1st 1999, Winnipeg airport recorded a sustained wind speed of 87 km/h gusting to 102 at 10 am that morning. Peak gust that day was 113 km/h.

    And a correction to my earlier post.. yesterday's gust to 100 km/h was the airport's strongest wind gust since Jun 23rd 2007 when a severe thunderstorm produced a gust to 107 km/h. That was during the severe weather outbreak of Jun 22-23rd that produced the Pipestone and Elie tornadoes.

  8. You would have never known the wind was that strong where I live. The highest wind gust recorded at my station was only 40km/h, which isn't even close to the all-time record for my station (52km/h). There are so many large trees around my place that I can't get a good wind reading, despite the fact that my anemometer is 24 feet above the ground.

    The wind was so strong in some parts of Steinbach that it snapped a billboard in half, and ripped a traffic light from its pole.

  9. Wow.. needless to say a very impressive wind event. Very warm surface temps and cold advection aloft produced enough instability for efficient mixing.

    Interesting how deep the low was without actually tapping the arctic front.

    Another arctic surge for tonite as that front pushes thru this afternoon... these swings in temp are hard to take.

    We'll have to wait till Wednesday it appears for mild pacific air to return... a low tracks thru N Manitoba giving us a westerly flow.

  10. What surprised me about yesterday was that there weren't higher wind gusts in southern SK with this event.. usually they get stronger NW winds than we do in these situations. Perhaps it was the added instability of hanging on to those mild temps into the afternoon that aided the strongest winds to surface over southern MB.

  11. Wow
    When these "snow squalls" move through the city it is like a blizzard!
    For all of the 5 minutes that it snows!
    Very convective out there!

  12. Doppler radar showing another nice squall line approaching Winnipeg from the NW along hwy 6. Should be bringing near zero vsbys in snow and blowing snow to Winnipeg between 3:45 and 4:15 pm..

  13. Impressive dark clouds approaching the city from the north and west.. almost has a wall-cloud look to it! Watch out for a heavy squall coming in with near zero vsby!

  14. Today was the first time in a long time that I have seen almost ZERO visibility in the CITY limits!

    It was very windy at the time the heavy snow was falling!

    I guess that answers my own question if blizzard conditions are possible in the CITY limits!Even with all the trees and buildings to block all the blowing snow!