Thursday, July 02, 2009

June 2009 weather stats for Winnipeg

After an unseasonably cool first half of the month, temperatures finally warmed to above normal values for the latter half of June as summerlike weather finally made an appearance over southern Manitoba. The warm weather however was not enough to offset the cool start, and as a result, June finished almost 1.5C below normal, with a monthly mean temperature of 15.6C at Winnipeg airport. This made June the 7th consecutive month with mean temperatures below normal (December 2008 to June 2009). Although significant this is not record breaking. Since 1971, there have been four other periods with 7 consecutive months of below normal monthly mean temperatures in Winnipeg, namely...

November 1973 to May 1974

June 1985 to December 1985

May 1993 to November 1993

November 1996 to May 1997

There were also two periods with 8 consecutive months below normal

November 1978 to June 1979

October 1995 to May 1996

The month was marked by an exceptionally late freeze on June 6th.. with a record low of -4.6C at Winnipeg airport.. the coldest June temperature ever at the airport since 1938, and the second coldest June temperature in Winnipeg since June 1 1888 (-6.1C) Downtown Winnipeg escaped the freeze with no frost reported at the Forks weather station. 


A strong storm system on June 26-27th brought heavy rainfall and strong winds to southeast Manitoba with over 100 mm of rain in areas east and southeast of Lake Winnipeg. This system brought heavy rainfall to eastern sections of Winnipeg with 75 mm reported while western areas, including the airport, had 35 mm. Other than this system precipitation was generally light in June with a lack of showers and thunderstorms. As a result, precipitation varied greatly across the city in June. Whereas the Airport only had 61.5 mm, the downtown station at The Forks had 82.8 mm and according to the rain gauge network operated by the City of Winnipeg, there was over 90 mm in the many areas of Winnipeg east of the Red River. Normal June rainfall in Winnipeg is 90 mm. 


  1. Rob
    Interesting data which suggests that record cold winters and springs are both the product of and the result of record floods...74,79,96,97,and 09.

    If the next 3 months hold a similar pattern (to those years) Mean Temps will be very close to avg this year. There appears to be no effect after June

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  3. Forcing today is broad/ diffuse... so far producing little more than mid level clouds. No cumulus formation or vertical development with the exception of very well defined lake breeze convergence zone between L Manitoba and the shoal lakes (shows up nicely on radar and satellite). With lack of a more focused shortwave to overcome inversion around 900 hPa and slack lapse rates above 700hPa... that area of convection off to our NW has struggled against cap.

  4. Couldn't resist the flood comment after watching the fireworks last night set off from the Pony Corral' dock "floating" in the parking lot.AGAIN...

    However it should read "precede and follow" not "product and result"

  5. Hydromet forecasts take several days to produce but Marine forecasts have very little lead time. I assume they forecast the 5 foot swell and 20 foot waves at Gimli/ Winnipeg Beach on the weekend.

    What additional or special education/training is required to produce Marine forecasts?

  6. Enviro Can does not issue wave forecasts for the MB lakes but in fact gale warnings were issued for the lakes a full day in advance of the strong winds. It is rare for gale force winds to affect the MB lakes especially so in summer, so to forecast a rare gale force event for the MB lakes well in advance of the winds was indeed a good forecast by EC.

  7. Lots of uncertainty again in terms of convective forecast...

    Another shortwave embedded in the WNW upper flow will arrive by midday tomorrow. This wave is strong enough to turn the low level flow southerly thru at least the 850 hPa layer. Decent LLJ gets going in eastern Saskatchewan this evening and shifts east. Models take a convective complex along nose of this feature across the interlake. Stronger LLJ and best mid level frontogenesis and isentropic ascent will be associated with well defined trough/ warm front at 700 hPa over the midwest... convection down there may cut off moisture transport somewhat to northern system.

    Questions for tomorrow are:

    1) Will the nocturnal storms hold together long enough to affect RRV tomorrow?

    2) Can any surface based convection get going tomorrow?

    With LLJ losing defintion and best moisture staying west of the RRV until late day... I doubt we will get more than debris cloud from overnite complex should it form.

    In order for diurnal redevelopment, we will need clearing of any debris cloud. If the incoming solar can interact with Td's of 15 to 17 C, storms could easily have 1500 J/kg of CAPE to play with (along with good, mainly unidirectional shear). Limiting factor would be lack of upper support and trigger mechanisms... wave moves off by midday and LLJ and surface reflection wash out. Another wave moves in for Sunday with another round of warm/moist advection and precip possible. Any thoughts Rob or others?

  8. I like some of the dynamics tomorrow, while not liking others.

    As per usual, we have good unidirectional shear (0-6km is 40 to 60knots). 850-500mb lapse rates will be around 28C. Shortwave/trough approaching from the west will serve to trigger storms. Tds look decent, models show them being +13 to +17C.

    Now to the tricky part. Main factor is heating. As Daniel notes, if we see good solar heating CAPE values will climb to respectable numbers...if we don't, the severe chances will likely bust again.

    If we can get 25/16 numbers up by late afternoon, CAPE values should be in the 1000 to 2000J/kg range. This in combination with the strong shear could support isolated supercells with large hail and strong winds. Given what has happened in SK recently, I wouldn't rule out a tornado given the right conditions. Then again, if we don't see heating (typical situation as of late), these chances fade to nil.

  9. Well if these clouds move out by early afternoon, we should manage temperatures in the low to mid twenties. Assuming moisture is good, we will have a shot at some decent severe weather.

  10. Clouds are beginning to break up as of 11:30. If we can get some sun poking out by noon/early afternoon, temperatures should easily climb into the low or even mid twenties.

  11. The main problem now will be lack of upper support. Wave has moved off into NW Ontario leaving only low level convergence from weak surface trough. This feature is washing out as it drifts towards RRV.. so best chance may come off one of the lake breeze boundaries...

  12. I'm not liking the lift either. These troughs have failed us recently, which is a situation that could could repeat itself again today.

    If tds would rise another few degrees we would also be in better shape. In western MB, they are in the mid teens, while other regions only have low teens. I definately need to see CAPE values exceed 1000J/kg, without the extra lift we need the extra instability.

  13. Line of cells starting to form along lake breeze convergence boundary east of L Manitoba and moving SE...

  14. A couple of stronger cells vicinity of the lakes... one warned SE of Dauphin. The one around Ashern also looked like it was producing hail?

  15. Chris - St.Vital5:36 PM, July 04, 2009

    5:35pm: Some rumbling and a light shower in St.Vital.

  16. Compact but intense cell tracking north of downtown towards St Boniface. Looks like torrential downpours and possible hail from radar. From past experience, the woodlands radar tends to underestimate these localized cells that from over the city.

    Good outflow noted over central Winnipeg... with boundary oriented from NW to SE on radar.

  17. 25/12 in Steinbach this afternoon. I would like to see tds in the middle teens, rather than the low teens. However, this should still yield CAPE values around 1000J/kg.

    Some strong hail storms in western MB. Apparently there was golf ball size hail with one storm. Some strong storms are possible in south-eastern Manitoba this evening assuming CAPE values are sufficient. There will be plenty of storms coming off the lake breeze boundaries.

  18. New cells forming along outflow boundary SW of downtown while intense cell now moving thru Windsor Park.. we need higher resolution radar!

    I would watch for something interesting to happen where this outflow boundary intersects convection down along the west side of L Manitoba and lake breeze boundaries.

  19. Rob, question for you about E.C. forecast accuracy. I know you've cautioned us about the accuracy of their long term outlooks, but my concern is about their accuracy of SAME DAY forecasts. Today is a perfect example. They start the day forecasting "Sunny". Not a word about partly cloudy or mix of sun & clouds. By 11:00 a.m. the sky is roughly 50/50 sun & clouds. Ultimately they change their forecast to "mix of sun & clouds". But why can't they anticipate daytime heating and even cover themselves by coming out first thing in the morning with something more accurate? I've become so skeptical of their same days forecasts that when they say "Sunny" I question it. Seems to me NWS RARELY uses the term "sunny". It's almost always "Mainly sunny" or "partly sunny". Why does E.C. persist in this simplistic "Sunny" term that so often is misleading? Your insight is appreciated as always.

  20. Interesting scenario today. Temperatures are very similar to yesterday - in the low twenties. Tds are slightly higher, generally around 14C. My question is whether this yields the same CAPE values. Lapse rates are also the same, but there is no clear trigger except for lake breeze boundaries. LI values are non-existent. With the moisture staying the same and shear very similar to yesterday, are CAPE values still around 1000J/kg, even though the models forecast 0J/kg? If this is the case, we could see some storms with small hail off coming through this afternoon.

  21. Yes Mark !
    Environment Canada changed there forecast again to account for a 30 % of showers now!

  22. Unfortunately with continued downsizing of the public service especially EC, coupled with increasing area of responsibility (EC in Winnipeg forecasts for all of southern SK, all of MB and most of Nunavut, that's over 100 forecast regions!) They do all of those forecasts with basically one forecaster on duty. You compare that with the NWS offices forecasting for an area significantly less than just a portion of Winnipeg's EC area of responsibility with many more forecasters on shift, it is not possible to exactly forecast each element of the forecast for every region for every forecast issue. With the shear number of forecast regions over such a large area, EC forecasters only have time to make significant changes that the models have not handled well. Forecasters will only make significant changes in respect to high impact weather, thus it will be rare for forecasters to have the time to make insignificant changes like sunny to a mix of sun and cloud especially if skies conditions will be sunny at least for the first 6 hours of the forecast like it was today. Should have the forecast have read... sunny at first than a mix of sun and cloud. Sure, but it is an insignificant change, and remember it is just not the Winnipeg forecast they would need to change but would likely have needed to change 20 or 30 other forecasts as well for this insignificant, non high impact weather change. Forecasters would not have had the sufficient time to make all of these changes. Note that the late morning update today did include some cloud to the forecast to many of the regions.

  23. Ya....true.
    I fail to realize the amount of area that one weather office is responsible to forecast for!!!

  24. Models depict significant midlevel moisture at 850 hPa associated with another shortwave moving in from the west. The lack of solar and low level heating keeps us cooler and stable in the models eyes. However, by looking at the vertical development on the cumulus clouds, some instability is present. Problem is disturbance gets sheared out and there is virtually no upper support. Something could get going along the lake breeze boundaries, but I would expect less coverage than yesterday.

  25. Mark..

    Can't add too much more than what anonymous posted. Gives good insight into how the role of the forecaster has changed in the past few years. The role has definitely shifted to a high impact focus, instead of worrying about things like sky condition.

    That said, I think automation can still be improved to make EC forecasts read better. Forecasts that read "Tonight..Cloudy periods. Clearing early this evening. Increasing cloudiness overnight" should never be allowed. No human forecaster would ever word a forecast like that. It implies precision we don't have, and isn't important anyways! Keep it simple, and highlight the most important parts of the forecast.

    Thankfully, EC is looking at improving their forecast terminology. They are looking at adopting simpler sky condition terms like NWS uses.. such as mainly sunny, partly cloudy, etc.

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