Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winnipeg dodges first wave of snow.. second storm threatens SE Manitoba New Year's Eve

The first wave of a one-two storm punch over the northern US Plains came in weaker than expected last night, bringing a swath of about 5-10 cm of snow mainly south and east of Winnipeg. Winnipeg just got brushed with a dusting of snow that was earlier threatening much more. Skies have cleared now with brisk northerly winds ushering much colder temperatures and wind chill values near -30. A second more powerful storm system is forecast to develop over Minnesota New Year's Eve and track into NW Ontario on New Year's Day. This system will bring a second wave of snow that will clip southeastern MB New Year's Eve with 5-10 cm possible near the Ontario border along with gusty north winds. Currently, it looks like the bulk of the snow will remain to the east of Winnipeg, but some light snow and increasing north winds may produce areas of poor visibilities in blowing and drifting snow in the Red River valley for New Year's Eve. The worst of this second storm is expected to impact eastern ND and NW Minnesota where blizzard conditions are expected.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A stormy end to 2010..

It looks like 2010 will be ending on a stormy note as a large storm system from the Pacific pushes into the central North America by mid week. This system will spawn two storm systems over the central plains that will affect southern MB beginning Wednesday night and continuing into New Year's Day. Significant snowfall and gusty winds will make for hazardous travel conditions over southern MB Thursday into New Years Day. The details..

Fair and mild conditions will prevail today and Wednesday with well above normal temperatures. Things however will begin to change Wednesday night as the first storm system begins to develop over the northern US Rockies. Snow from this system will spread into southern MB Wednesday night and intensify Thursday, along with increasing north winds. These winds will draw in much colder temperatures along with creating poor travel conditions in snow and blowing snow Thursday. Preliminary snowfall amounts from this system look to be in the 10-20 cm range across much of southern MB with the potential for locally higher amounts. Snow is expected to taper off overnight Thursday into Friday before another storm system intensifies over Minnesota by New Year's Eve. This system will track into NW Ontario and spread another area of snow and strong winds over southeastern MB New Years Eve into New Year's Day. There is still some uncertainty about the track of this second more intense storm system. If it tracks a little further east, southern MB will largely be spared from its worst effects. If it tracks a little further west however, it could bring blizzard-like conditions to the Red River valley for New Years Eve/Day. Whatever the case, the quiet tranquil weather of December will be coming to a stormy end as we close out 2010. Stay tuned on this developing winter weather situation.

See also
- HPC storm track projections, HPC snow charts
- NWS GFK winter weather monitor, GFK technical discussion
- GEM snowfall prog (click on NOAM zoom), EC discussion

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A mild start to the week.. with a potentially stormy finish..

After a cold and windy Boxing day, temperatures will be on the upswing starting Monday as a mild Pacific airmass moves across the Prairies. Gusty southerly winds tonight into Monday morning will shift into the west by afternoon or evening, which will send temperatures up to the freezing mark over southern MB for the first time since mid-November. The mild temperatures will continue through midweek before a change to colder and possibly snowier weather by the end of the week. Long range models are showing the potential for a storm system to spread some snow across southern MB by Thursday or Friday, with increasing winds and colder temperatures by the weekend. This storm has the potential to bring heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions over portions of the northern plains and parts of southern MB or NW Ontario as well. Stay tuned on this developing storm system..

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 moves into second place of all time wettest years in Winnipeg

The overnight snowfall produced 2.5 mm of melted precipitation at Winnipeg airport, bringing the total precipitation this year to 719.5 mm (total of all rain and melted snow since Jan 1st). This makes 2010 the second wettest year of all time since annual records began in Winnipeg in 1873, and only 4 mm away from the all time wettest year of 1962 (723.3 mm) The question now is.. will we break the record? If we do, it likely won't be until the last few days of the year since the weather this week looks quiet with little or no precipitation expected through the Christmas holidays. Ensemble forecasts hint at some precipitation moving into Winnipeg between Dec 29th and Jan 1st, but it's too early to say whether Winnipeg will see another 4 mm of precipitation over that period. Whatever the case, it's been an exceptionally wet year in the Red River valley and much of the Prairies, especially surprising given the fact the year started off quite dry over the first 4 months. Let's hope the rest of the winter and upcoming spring do not continue the wet trend.

Top 5 wettest years in Winnipeg (annual records since 1873)

1962 ..... 723.3 mm
2010 ..... 719. 5 mm
1953 ..... 718.4 mm
1977 ..... 715.0 mm
2000 .... 701.6 mm

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Storm system to graze southern MB with snow Monday...

A storm system moving across the Dakotas will bring an area of snow over North Dakota Monday into Monday evening, with some snow from this system brushing southern Manitoba along the US border. Winter storm watches and warnings have been posted for much of North Dakota in advance of this system with snowfalls of 10-20 cm expected from Crosby through Jamestown into the Fargo area. Slightly less snow is expected further north and east, however accumulating snow is forecast up to the Canadian border including the Pembina/Emerson area where 5 cm or more is possible. The area of snow will drop off sharply north of the border with little or no snow likely north of Highway 2 in southern Manitoba. Motorists are advised to be prepared for winter travel conditions if travelling into North Dakota Monday into Monday night.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Snow moving in Wednesday night into Thursday..

An Alberta clipper will track across the Prairies tomorrow into Thursday, spreading an area of snow across southern MB. Snow is expected to move into SW Manitoba Wednesday afternoon, reaching Winnipeg and the Red River valley Wednesday night. Snow will continue into Thursday morning before tapering off, with more persistent snow likely through the Interlake. In general about 5 cm of snow is likely for areas along and south of the TransCanada (including Winnipeg) with up to 10 cm possible further north from Dauphin into the Interlake regions. Clearing and colder conditions are expected behind this system for the weekend.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Quieter start to December..

After a snowy and stormy second half of November, December will start off on a quieter note over southern MB along with below normal temperatures. An arctic ridge of high pressure will dominate the weather pattern over the Prairies through the upcoming weekend with generally sunny skies, light winds and seasonably cold temperatures. A system passing to the south of the border will brush SW Manitoba overnight into Friday with some snow, but the bulk of that system will track into North Dakota Friday. Dry weather is expected into the beginning of next week - which will come as a relief to overworked snow crews who have been kept busy by frequent snowfalls over the past 2 weeks over southern MB. In Winnipeg, 55 cm of snow has fallen between November 18th and 30th, resulting in the heaviest November snowfall in the city since 1996 (62.8 cm) (see Nov 2010 monthly summary)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

More snow moving in Monday with increasing north winds..

More snow is on the way over southern Manitoba early next week as a low pressure system slowly tracks across the Northern US plains. Snow from this system will spread over southern Manitoba on Monday and taper off Monday night over SW Manitoba but persist into Tuesday closer to the Ontario border. As this system intensifies to our south and east, northerly winds will be increasing by Monday afternoon producing areas of blowing and drifting snow especially through the Red River valley Monday night into Tuesday. General snow amounts look to be in the 5-10 cm range with this system, but models are hinting that there may be locally higher amounts over higher terrain of southwest Manitoba as well as closer to the Ontario border where snow may continue into Tuesday. Stay tuned on this developing system as the snowy November of 2010 continues. (image shows Canadian Global model precipitation forecast valid noon Monday (NOAM sector). See also HPC snow probability maps)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Uncle!! 20+ cm snowfall caps snowy week in Winnipeg/southern Manitoba..

The third major snowfall in one week has dumped over 20 cm of snow in Winnipeg over the past 2 days, capping a snowy week that has seen 50 cm dumped on the city since last Thursday. This latest storm produced 23 cm of snow at my place (15 cm Wednesday + 8 cm today), following a 12 cm snowfall on Sunday and a 14 cm snowfall last Thursday and Friday. General snowfall amounts of 15 to 20 cm were widespread over southern Manitoba with this latest storm, especially over the Red River valley. The succession of snowfalls has kept snowplow operators busy, and will require 3 days to clean off residential streets in Winnipeg that have become bogged with snow. The snowy start to winter is in sharp contrast to last year which saw only 1.4 cm of snow all of November, and 68 cm for the entire winter. The snow has caused considerable inconvenience to travellers and commuters, but has transformed southern Manitoba into a winter wonderland. (Winnipeg Sun photo, Legislative Grounds, Winnipeg)

Latest storm summary.. over 40 cm in Winnipeg past 7 days

The third major snowfall of the past week continues over southern MB today, with a general 10-15 cm reported over much of the region since Wednesday morning. In Winnipeg, about 15 cm of snow has fallen up to 8 am this morning, with an additional 2 to 5 cm expected today before it winds down later today into this evening. Just a week ago, much of southern MB was still snow-free, but 3 significant snowfalls in the past 7 days have produced over 40 cm of snow in Winnipeg, transforming a bare snowfree landscape into a winter wonderland. This is now the snowiest November in the city since 1996 when 62.8 cm was recorded.

Unofficial snowfall amounts past 24 hours to 8 am...

..Charleswood.. 14 cm (42 cm past 7 days)
..St. Vital.. 15 cm
Brandon.... 12 cm
Carman .... 11 cm
Pinawa .... 12 cm
Gilbert Plains ... 10 cm
Hodgson .. 15 cm
Miami ... 13 cm
Narcisse ........ 10 cm
Oakbank ...... 14 cm
Piney .... 12 cm
Portage la Prairie .... 16 cm
Neepawa ...... 10 cm
Schanzenfeld ..... 13 cm
Snowflake .... 13 cm
Stony Mountain ..... 11 cm

We should get a break from the snow Friday into the weekend, with the next threat of snow coming Sunday night into Monday as another storm system passes through the Dakotas.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Here we snow again!

Another day.. another snowfall. The third snowfall in less than a week will be affecting southern Manitoba beginning overnight and continuing through Wednesday into Thursday. A snowfall warning has been issued for much of southern MB including Winnipeg for a general snowfall of 10-20 cm by Thursday. Snow is expected to move into southwest MB this evening and spread into Winnipeg and the Red river valley overnight. Snow will continue through Wednesday with 10 cm likely by evening. Snow is expected to lighten up for awhile Wednesday night but continue into Thursday with another 5 -10 cm possible before tapering off Thursday evening. Easterly winds of 20-30 km/h Wednesday will become light Wednesday night, then pick up from the northwest on Thursday as the system moves east of Manitoba. Northwest winds of 30 to 50 km/h are possible by afternoon or evening which will give areas of blowing and drifting snow over the Red River valley, especially south of Winnipeg.

Monday, November 22, 2010

More snow on the way for southern Manitoba..

A powerful storm system pushing onto the West Coast today will move into the central US plain states over the next couple of days, spreading another round of snow to southern Manitoba by Wednesday. Snow from this system will move into southern Manitoba Wednesday morning, continuing through Wednesday night into Thursday. Early indications are that a general 10-20 cm of snow is possible across southern Manitoba by the time the snow starts tapering off Thursday. As the storm system moves east into NW Ontario, increasing northwest winds on the backside of the storm will produce areas of blowing and drifting snow Thursday.. especially over the Red River valley. This storm will bring the third significant snowfall in the past week over southern Manitoba.. which was largely snowfree just last Wednesday. What a difference a week makes.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Winter arrives in southern Manitoba.. more snow on the way Saturday night into Sunday..

An Alberta clipper brought the season's first widespread snowfall over much of southern Manitoba Thursday into Thursday night, including Winnipeg where about 10 cm of snow was reported by Friday morning. General snowfall amounts of 10-15 cm were recorded mainly along and north of the TransCanada into the Interlake regions with 20-30 cm over the Riding Mountain Park area. Behind the system, cold northwest winds produced snowsqualls off Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg Friday, bringing additional snow and poor visibilities southeast of the lakes (see Doppler image left) In Winnipeg, the squalls off Lake Manitoba mainly affected the southwest portion of the city with another 3-5 cm of new snow and whiteout conditions at times. Things will clear up tonight as a ridge of high pressure builds in from the west.. and that will mean a very cold night on the way as temperatures drop into the minus 20s for the first time since last winter.

After a break Saturday, it looks like another general snowfall is on the way Saturday night into Sunday as a storm system tracks across North Dakota and spreads another wave of snow over southern Manitoba. This system has the potential to produce another 5-10 cm of snow across Winnipeg and the Red River valley with up to 15 cm possible along the US border and SE Manitoba. Like it or not.. winter has arrived in southern Manitoba!

Snowfall reports past 24 hours..

Winnipeg.... 10 cm
Portage....... 10 cm
Brandon...... 10 cm
Dauphin ..... 17 cm
Gilbert Plains..... 20 cm
Rossburn .... 28 cm /Riding Mountain Park/
Wasagaming... 15 cm
Roblin ......... 12 cm
Rivers.......... 11 cm
Beausejour..... 12 cm
Pinawa......... 12 cm
Arborg......... 17 cm
Winkler........ 7 cm
Morden....... 5 cm

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

First general snowfall on the way for southern Manitoba.. 10-15 cm expected Thursday into Thursday night

So goodbye to that snowfree ground.. snow is on the way for much of southern Manitoba Thursday as a fast moving Alberta clipper system spreads snow across the region. Snow will be moving into western Manitoba early Thursday morning and will spread east towards Winnipeg by early afternoon. Snow will become heavy at times with snowfall rates of 1-2cm/hr at times giving poor visibilities and road conditions. For Winnipeg, snow will become heavy by mid to late afternoon into the evening before tapering off after midnight so be prepared for a slower than usual commute home Thursday evening. General snowfall amounts of 10-15 cm are expected with this system along the TransCanada corridor, including Winnipeg, as well as Dauphin through the southern Interlake regions. (see snowfall warning for southern Manitoba) Easterly winds of 30 to 50 km/h will also accompany the snow resulting in local blowing and drifting snow. This will be the first general snowfall of the season for Winnipeg and the Red River valley so be prepared for wintery road conditions and slower travel times Thursday as this clipper system moves through.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dull weather continues.. colder air moving in for mid week; snow possible by Friday..

The dull weather of the past few days will continue today over the Red River valley with generally cloudy skies and temperatures near the freezing mark. Little change is expected for Monday however colder weather is forecast to flood into the Prairies by mid week as an Arctic airmass pushes in from the north. This will usher in a stretch of below normal temperatures for the first time in several weeks over southern MB along with occasional flurry activity. Long range models point to the possibility of a more significant clipper system pushing across the southern Prairies by late week with snow spreading into southern MB by Friday.. possibly giving the Red River valley its first widespread snow event of the season (potential for 5-10 cm) Stay tuned..

Friday, November 05, 2010

Beautiful early November weekend on tap.. changes brewing for mid to late week

Looks like a beautiful first weekend of November shaping up as the fine late fall weather continues. Under sunny skies and diminishing winds, temperatures on Saturday will reaching the low to mid teens, some 10 degrees above normal values for this time of year. 15C temperatures are even possible in Winnipeg as our southerly flow shifts to the west in the afternoon (record high for November 6th in Winnipeg is 16.7C in 1975 - we may come close) The nice weather will continue through Sunday into early next week with double digit highs, before a change moves in by mid week. A low pressure system will be passing across southern MB late Tuesday into Wednesday bringing some rain that may change to wet snow as it moves out. Colder air will follow in the wake of this system for the end of the week with more seasonable highs near +2C along with occasional flurry activity. So enjoy the nice weekend.. you may want to get those Christmas decorations up while it's still nice!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Late October rain gives Winnipeg wettest April-October period on record..

October was a mild and dry month until an intense fall storm brought heavy rain, snow and colder temperatures to finish off the month. The month was very quiet through the first 3 1/2 weeks with only 1.3 mm of rain on 2 days during that stretch. The dry weather was very much needed after an exceptionally wet August and September that left soil conditions saturated. That dry weather came to an end however on the 25th-27th when an intense storm system passing through Minnesota brought heavy rains of 50-90 mm through the Red River valley and snow (5-30 cm) over western MB. At 955 mb, the storm system was the deepest low ever recorded over the central continent, and produced the lowest pressure on record at Winnipeg (967 mb) The late month deluge led to yet another month with above normal precipitation in Winnipeg, helping to produce the wettest April-October period on record since records began in 1872 (630 mm, old record 625 mm 1977) The season's first snowfall in the city came on the evening of the 29th when 1 cm of snow was recorded, with heavier amounts of 3-5 cm over the northern part of the city.

Temperatures in October were very mild with daily highs above 10C through the 26th, including an 8 day stretch of 20C plus weather from the 4th to 11th, the longest 20C stretch in an October since 1963 (11 days) and tied for the 2nd longest streak on record. The month was on pace for a top 10 finish for mildest Octobers through the 26th, however cooler weather over the last 5 days of the month knocked it out of top 10 honours. Nevertheless, the month finished with an average of 8C at Winnipeg airport, almost 3C above normal.

All in all.. a much needed dry and mild month with a wet and cool finish.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dry and pleasant for Halloween

After a stormy mid week and a dusting of snow last night, Mother Nature will be giving southern Manitoba a treat for Halloween with some dry and pleasant weather Sunday evening. Cloudy skies and fog patches overnight will give way to sunshine Sunday along with seasonable afternoon temperatures near +5C. By evening, trick or treaters can expect temperatures around +2C with a light southerly breeze of 15-20 km/h under clear skies. This will lead into a very nice start to November with sunny skies and high temperatures near 10C for Monday. A cold front will push through late Tuesday bringing in cooler temperatures for the middle to end of the week, but dry conditions. Overall, it's looking like a nice start to November.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Powerful storm system sets record for lowest pressure reading over central North America..

The powerful storm system that has been affecting the eastern Prairies has set new records for all time lowest barometric pressure readings for this part of the world. Yesterday's storm bottomed out at 955.2 mb (28.21") at Bigfork Minnesota, in the northern part of the state, late yesterday afternoon. This is the lowest pressure reading of all time in Minnesota, eclipsing the previous record of 963 mb in Nov 1998. (see NWS Duluth storm summary on this event) It is also the second lowest barometric reading ever recorded in the contiguous US, second only to a 955.0 mb (28.20") reading in Canton NY (Jan 1913) and Nantucket MA (Mar 1932) (There is a report of a 952 mb (28.10") reading during a noreaster on Long Island in March 1914, but this is not in official NCDC records. For more info, see storm system in historical perspective

Barometer trace from my home 
weather station on Oct 26 2010
Lowest reading was 966 mb
at 4:44 pm
In Winnipeg, the barometer fell to 967 mb, the lowest pressure on record at Winnipeg airport since at least 1953 when hourly readings began getting archived (previous lowest pressure since then was 974 mb on Nov 20 1962).  Official pressure readings for Winnipeg are available before 1953, but are not digitally archived. A reading of 966 mb was recorded in Winnipeg on Oct 10 1949 during an intense fall storm over southern MB that was reported as the lowest pressure ever recorded in the city. That is still likely the lowest pressure reading on record for Winnipeg since 1872. 

The lowest pressure in the province yesterday was recorded in Sprague at 960 mb, closer to the low center as it tracked over Fort Frances, Ontario at 957 mb. The storm brought strong winds, rain, and snow over a large part of central North America, and at least two dozen tornadoes over the Ohio Valley. In southern Manitoba, the storm produced heavy rain through the Red River valley and Interlake regions (50-90 mm), as well as the season's first snowfall over western Manitoba, mainly over the higher elevations of Riding and Turtle Mountains where 15-30 cm of snow was reported. In addition, northerly winds gusting to 95 km/h generated large waves and high water levels on the Manitoba lakes producing severe local flooding in some near shore communities including Winnipegosis, Gimli and Winnipeg Beach. The strong winds also led to beach erosion and wind damage on the southeastern shore of Lake Winnipeg including at Victoria Beach and Grand Beach. Lakeside residents are calling the storm the worst they've seen in at least 40 years..

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Powerful storm system to bring strong winds, rain and season's first snow to southern MB..

An intense storm system over northern Minnesota is bringing powerful winds, heavy rain and snow over a wide swath of the Northern Plains and eastern Prairies.. the first significant storm of the fall season. After a quiet storm free month, Mother Nature is making up for it with a record setting storm system to close out October. The storm is setting records for the lowest barometric pressure on record for a storm in the Northern Plains (962 mb), and may possibly approach the all time lowest pressure for a non tropical storm in the US (currently at 955 mb)

This storm has brought significant rain over southern MB with at least 25 to 40 mm across the Red River valley, with more expected tonight into Wednesday before it mixes with or changes to snow during the day. Further west, a snowfall warning is in effect for western MB from Swan River to Pilot Mound for 10 to 25 cm of snow tonight into Wednesday.

This will be the season's first major blast of winter weather over Southern Manitoba so residents planning on travel through Western Manitoba tonight or Wednesday should be prepared for hazardous winter travel conditions including the Yellowhead and Transcanada highways west of Portage. Precipitation from this system is expected to stay mainly as rain over the Red River Valley and Southeast Manitoba, however the rain is expected to change to wet snow during the day Wednesday with some slushy accumulations possible by evening. In addition strong northerly winds are expected to develop across Southern Manitoba later today into tonight with gusts to 80 km/h likely over the Red River Valley by Wednesday. Local gusts of 90 to 100 km/h are possible along the southern shores of Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg where northerly winds blow off the open water. Gale warnings are in effect for those lakes with large waves likely tonight and Wednesday with local beach erosion possible. All in all, a powerful storm to take us into the winter season!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Major storm system next week signals end to dry mild weather..

After 4 weeks of mild dry weather over southern Manitoba with virtually no precipitation over that time, it looks like a major pattern change is in store over the Prairies for the last week of October. A strong storm system over the Pacific will be pushing across the Prairies early next week, and will bring rain, strong winds and even the season's first snowfall over parts of southern Manitoba by the middle of next week. Rain ahead of the system is expected to push into the Red River valley Monday afternoon or evening then continue into Tuesday. By Tuesday evening into Wednesday, the storm system is forecast to intensify over northern Minnesota into NW Ontario, bringing strong northerly winds and colder air into southern Manitoba. Temperatures will fall into the low single digits by Wednesday, with rain changing to wet snow over parts of southern Manitoba, especially over higher elevations west of the Red River valley. The colder air will bring an end to the mild weather that has produced double digit highs every day so far this month. Below normal temperatures are expected for the latter part of the week before returning to seasonal values for Halloween weekend.

This storm system will bring the first significant precipitation over the Red River valley in over 4 weeks. Overall precipitation amounts from this system will vary between 10 to 50 mm, with a 50% chance of seeing at least 25 mm of precipitation in Winnipeg between Monday and Thursday. It's too early to say whether we'll be seeing our first snowfall of the season in Winnipeg by Wednesday, but it's likely that the higher elevations of western MB including the Turtle Mountain and Riding Mountain areas will be seeing some accumulating snow from this storm system. Stay tuned..

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dry seasonable weather this week.. turning unsettled next week?

The dry weather we've enjoyed for the past 3 weeks will continue this week, with an upper ridge blocking any large weather systems from affecting southern Manitoba. After an exceptionally wet late summer, the taps were finally shut off in late September with only 2.0 mm of rain recorded in Winnipeg in the past 3 weeks (since September 25th) Long range models are indicating a breakdown in the upper ridge by early next week, resulting in cooler and more unsettled conditions moving into southern MB for the last week of October.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Warm weather to continue through Thanksgiving weekend

The beautiful Indian summer weather of the past week will continue through the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend, with afternoon temperatures in the low to mid 20s through Monday.. some 10-15 degrees above normal for this time of year. That will give Winnipeg 8 straight days of temperatures in the 20s so far this month, doubling the number of 20C days we had all of September. The summerlike weekend this year is in sharp contrast to last year's Thanksgiving weekend weather which was marked by an early snowfall over southern Manitoba, including 10 cm in Winnipeg and a whopping 50 cm of lake effect snow near Lac Du Bonnet.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Fabulous start to October..

October is starting off in fine form with plenty of sunshine and above normal temperatures this week. Temperatures are expected to be at or above the 20C mark through Friday, and possibly though next weekend with no significant rainfall through the period. Winnipeg hit the 20C mark only 4 times in September, and it looks like that number for October may be surpassed by the end of the week! Long range models are indicating the current weather pattern is expected to persist into early next week before a shift towards cooler temperatures and possible showers by the middle of next week. Until then.. enjoy our belated September weather!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Soggy September tops off Winnipeg's second wettest April-September period on record..

It was another wetter than normal month in Winnipeg and across much of southern MB and the Prairies in September, finishing off one of the wettest growing seasons on record across the Prairies. In Winnipeg, September rainfall totalled 93.0 mm at YWG airport, almost twice the normal September rainfall of 52 mm. This pushed this season's total precipitation since April 1st to 582.5 mm, 154% of "normal" (30 yr average = 378 mm) making it the second wettest April to September period in Winnipeg since records began in 1873. The all time wettest April-September period in Winnipeg was in 1977 when 594.3 mm of precipitation was recorded, about 12 mm more than this year. This year's high total was mainly due to several heavy rainstorms of 50-100 mm that occurred over the Red River valley in late May as well as August and September. Even heavier amounts of rain were recorded over southern and eastern parts of Winnipeg during the past 5 months, including September with 100-120 mm of rainfall reported in some areas of the city. At my site in Charleswood, seasonal rainfall from April 1st - September 30th totalled 685 mm, over 100 mm more than the airport site. Further south, Morris reported 642.6 mm from April 1st-Sept 30th. The wet weather has made it a challenge for area farmers, especially with some of the heavy downpours occurring late in the growing season resulting in a delayed harvest for many. Fortunately, sunny dry weather at the end of the September has salvaged hopes for a more complete harvest in southern MB before colder weather sets in.

The wet weather this year has not only been a problem in southern MB, but throughout the prairies with one of the wettest growing seasons on record from Alberta to the Ontario border. The situation is especially bad in central Saskatchewan where record wet weather and an early killing freeze has severely limited agricultural output this year, resulting in major financial losses.

April to September 2010 Precipitation Summary (mm)

Month..........YWG airport.....30 yr average.........Charleswood (Rob's Obs)

April.............. 45.5 mm ......... 31.9 mm ........ 35.8 mm
May............ 160.0 mm ....... 58.8 mm ....... 185.9 mm
June........... 71.0 mm ....... 89.5 mm ....... 100.6 mm
July ........... 69.0 mm ........ 70.6 mm ........ 68.0 mm
August........ 144.0 mm ...... 75.1 mm ........ 172.2 mm
September ...93.0 mm ....... 52.3 mm ........ 122.9 mm

TOTAL ...... 582.5 mm ......378.2 mm ........ 685.4 mm

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Upcoming pattern change signals trend to warmer drier weather for the Prairies

Our cool and wet September is drawing to a close, but it looks like some warmer and drier weather will finally be moving in for the last few days of the month. A persistent storm track over the northern US has brought several significant rainfall events over southern Manitoba over the past 4 weeks, with 100-250 mm of rain across the Red River valley during that time. The suppressed jet stream has also maintained cooler than normal temperatures through the period with only 2 days reaching the 20C mark in Winnipeg this month. But a long awaited pattern change is finally beginning this weekend, and long range models are suggesting drier and warmer than normal conditions will persist across the Prairies through the first week of October. (see 6-10 day outlook from CPC)

In the short term, early morning cloud and fog patches will give way to sunshine and pleasant temperatures today, with afternoon highs in the mid to upper teens along with light winds. Even warmer conditions are expected Sunday as gusty south winds to 60 km/h push temperatures into the low to mid 20s across southern MB, possibly the warmest day of the month so far. A weak cold front will pass through Monday with a slight chance of showers, followed by sunny skies and 20C temperatures Tuesday. Dry but slightly cooler weather is expected for the end of the week as high pressure builds over the eastern Prairies. Long range models continue to indicate the development of a large upper ridge over the Prairies during the first week of October, bringing a spell of warm and dry weather to southern Manitoba to start the new month. Here's hoping to warmer and drier weather in October!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Another soaking rain for the Red River valley

Southern Manitoba once again received more rain Thursday night on already saturated grounds. A storm system moving through the Dakotas brought rainfall amounts of 20 to 50 mm over the Red River Valley Thursday through Thursday night with over 60 mm falling over extreme southeastern Manitoba.

Here is a summary of some of the more significant rainfall amounts reported over the last 24 hours as of 8 AM Friday morning.

Winnipeg (airport) .. 19.0 mm
Winnipeg (Forks) .... 17.6 mm
Winnipeg (St. Vital)... 25.4 mm
Winnipeg (Chwd) ...... 22.6 mm /Rob's Obs/
Dugald .............. 36.4 mm
Letellier ........... 37.0 mm
St. Pierre .......... 50.4 mm
Morris .............. 48.2 mm
Steinbach ........... 38.8 mm
Gretna .............. 27.8 mm
Emerson ............. 38.0 mm
Starbuck ............ 20.4 mm
Winkler ............. 33.6 mm
Vassar .............. 51.5 mm
Piney ............... 55.4 mm
Sprague ............. 63.0 mm

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

24C by Sunday? Could it be?

Long range models continue to indicate an upcoming change this weekend in the below normal weather pattern that has plagued the Prairies most of September. A large upper ridge is forecast to build over western North America by the weekend that will send a surge of warm air across Alberta and Saskatchewan beginning Saturday. Low pressure crossing the northern Prairies will push this warmth eastward over southern Manitoba on Sunday with temperatures expected to climb into the low to mid 20s.. potentially the warmest day of the month so far that has seen only 2 days reach the 20C mark in Winnipeg, with a maximum of only 22C on the 1st. Current forecasts suggest 24C temperatures continuing Monday in Winnipeg however, model guidance is indicating a brief cooldown Monday and Tuesday before another surge of warm air moves in for the middle and end of next week. All in all, it looks like we may finally be seeing some above normal temperatures to end what has been a generally cool September.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

2010 growing season ends for Winnipeg and northern RRV

A ridge of high pressure brought clear skies and light winds last night to Winnipeg and the northern Red River valley, allowing widespread frost to form early this morning. Temperatures dipped to a low of -1.5C at Winnipeg airport, officially ending the 2010 growing season for the city. Using airport data, this year's growing season was 132 days , 11 days longer than average, and 18 days longer than 2009. This was due to a fairly early start to the growing season this year with the last spring frost recorded on May 9th at the airport.. some 2 weeks ahead of the normal last frost. At Winnipeg airport, the average growing season is about 121 days between an average last spring frost on May 23rd, and a first fall frost on Sept 22nd. Last year, the airport had a 114 day growing season (Jun 7th - Sept 28th), shortened due to a late spring frost in June.

Elsewhere across the Red River valley, most areas north of Highway 3 had frost this morning with overnight lows of 0 to -2C. The southern valley however escaped frost due to cloud cover that spread along the US border. Areas from Morris southward generally stayed above freezing last night.

Increasing cloud cover and moderating temperatures will prevent the threat of frost over the next few days. In fact, long range models are hinting of above normal temperatures moving in for next weekend into the last week of September with temperatures of 20-25C possible. Here's hoping!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Frost likely tonight across Red River valley

Winnipeg and the Red River valley were spared from frost last night due to a steady westerly wind that kept temperatures above zero. Tonight however, winds are expected to be light as a ridge of high pressure builds into southern MB. That ridge brought a hard freeze to much of southern SK and Alberta last night with overnight lows of -2 to -7C. Clear skies and light winds in the ridge allowed for maximum radiational heat loss from the surface, resulting in the frosty temperatures. Overnight lows aren't expected to be quite as cold tonight over southern MB as temperatures moderate somewhat today and some high level cloud moves in tonight, however widespread readings of 0 to -2C are likely by early Sunday morning across the Red River valley including Winnipeg (except downtown which should remain above zero due to the urban heat island effect). The southern Red River valley may also be spared from frost with some thicker cloud cover spreading in from Montana. Overall though it looks like the growing season will officially come to an end Sunday morning in Winnipeg, a good 10 days earlier than last year (first frost last year at Winnipeg airport was on September 29th with a minimum of -2.4C during the city's warmest September on record)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fall arriving early..

The official first day of fall is next Wednesday Sept 22nd.. but Mother Nature will be bringing in fall like weather a little early this year, as a sharp cold front pushes through southern Manitoba Thursday night. This front will usher in an unseasonably cool airmass from the northern Prairies Friday into the weekend, with temperatures only rising into the low teens along with brisk west to northwest winds. There's even a chance of some snow over northern Manitoba by Saturday as a low pressure system intensifies over the north. High pressure building in by Sunday morning will bring a good chance of widespread frost early Sunday across southern MB. Cool conditions are expected to persist into early next week along with an increasing threat of showers.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Early season snowstorm Sept 12-13 1903

Yes, fall's come early this year.. but it could be worse. On this date in 1903, an early season snowstorm left 10 to 30 cm of wet snow across western Manitoba. The image on the left shows a shot of Birtle MB near the SK border on Sept 13 1903 (image from Brock Holowachuk's book "Impact - A History of Disasters in Manitoba")

Elevation usually plays a major role in early season snowstorms and this one was no exception. Precipitation from this system fell mainly as rain in the Red River valley with 39 mm of rain recorded in Winnipeg and a high of only +9C. Further west however, rain changed to snow over higher elevations west of the Pembina escarpment with the highest amounts over southwestern MB. Snowfall amounts over western MB included..

Hillview .............. 30 cm (between Brandon and Virden)
Rapid City........... 25 cm
Deloraine............. 23 cm
Turtle Mtn ......... 20 cm
Minnedosa ......... 15 cm
Elkhorn ............... 15 cm
Dauphin .............. 15 cm
Brandon .............. 10 cm

Eastern Saskatchewan reports:

Moosomin...........  38 cm
Manor ...............  23 cm (near Carlyle)
Alameda ............. 15 cm (near Oxbow)
Crescent Lake ..... 15 cm (near Yorkton)

The heavy snow and high winds wreaked havoc on crops and infrastructure with heavy losses reported in the wheat crop and numerous telegraph poles downed.  So as cool and wet as it's been this September, it has been worse!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dry most of the week.. cool outbreak looms for weekend..

A nice looking Sunday is on tap today with mostly sunny skies, a westerly breeze and temperatures close to 20C this afternoon. Cooler weather is expected Monday as northwest winds draw in cooler air from the west, with a risk of patchy frost over southern MB Tuesday morning. Dry weather is expected to continue through through mid week although a storm system moving through Dakotas on Wednesday threatens some rain near the US border. (models currently indicate this system should remain south of the border but we'll keep our eye on any changes) By Friday, a low pressure system tracking across the eastern Prairies will usher in a colder airmass for the weekend, with highs only in the low teens expected along with an increasing potential for frost. Looks like fall is coming early this year..

Friday, September 10, 2010

Another day.. another 25-50 mm..

The third significant rainfall event in the past 12 days has dumped another 25-50 mm of rain over the Red River valley.. boosting totals since Aug 30th into the 100-175 mm range (4-7 inches) This is an abnormally large amount of rain for this time of year, with average September rainfall around 52 mm for the month. The wet weather has ensured the already waterlogged soil conditions remain saturated across the Red River valley, with extensive standing water in fields and ditches making for difficult harvesting conditions this year.

Some rainfall totals over the past 24 hours.. and since Aug 30th.

Winnipeg airport.... 22 mm .... 94 mm since Aug 30
Winnipeg Forks...... 30 mm* .... 108 mm* (estimated)
Winnipeg Chwd...... 35 mm ..... 125 mm /Rob's Obs/
Winnipeg city rainfall maps:
Aug 30-31 / Sept 1-2 / Sept 9-10

Morris...................... 39 mm .... 176 mm
Carman ................... 34 mm .... 128 mm
Elm Creek .............. 27 mm ...... 93 mm
Manitou .................. 47 mm ..... 118 mm
Starbuck.................. 32 mm ..... 95 mm
Dugald..................... 31 mm ..... 120 mm
Letellier.................. 25 mm ..... 113 mm
St Pierre ............... 25 mm ...... 106 mm
Steinbach ............. 27 mm ...... 100 mm
Selkirk ................. 26 mm ........ 86 mm
Teulon ................. 39 mm ........ 105 mm
Woodlands .......... 28 mm ........ 121 mm

NOTE: above data from Manitoba Agriculture Network

The good news is that the heavy rainfall events appear to be over for awhile.. at least through the next week or so as we get into a drier but cool pattern. Unfortunately, limited sunshine and below normal temperatures will make it difficult to get rid of standing water quickly.. which will increase the liklihood of going into the winter with saturated soil conditions.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Storm system threatens significant rainfall Friday

The next storm system coming off the Pacific ocean is forecast to intensify over the next 24 to 48 hours as it moves into the Dakotas and eastern Prairies by Friday. This system will tap an increasingly moist and unstable airmass over the US plains generating widespread showers and embedded thunderstorms as it moves eastward. Rain is expected to move into the Red River valley Thursday night and continue through Friday into Friday night before moving into NW Ontario. At this point, models are indicating a fairly good chance of seeing at least 25 mm of rain with this system over the Red River valley, with amounts of 50 mm possible in some areas. Ditches and fields remain waterlogged across the valley thanks to heavy rains over the past 10 days (100-150 mm).. and it's becoming increasingly difficult to dry up this ground moisture as we get into the fall with weaker sunshine and cooler weather. This next system will further delay chances of drying out appreciably before winter freezeup.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

More rain on the way..

Not the news we want to hear, but another round of precipitation is on the way over the Red River valley later today into tonight with some scattered thunderstorms possible. Rain may be locally heavy at times with amounts of 15-25 mm possible mainly tonight into Thursday morning. The rain is unwelcome news after Monday's soaking which brought 40-100 mm of rain through the valley. As this system moves to the east Thursday, gusty north winds will develop with gusts to 60 or 70 km/h by afternoon and temperatures only in the mid teens.. definitely a fall like feel to the day. Things should start clearing out Friday with a nice looking weekend ahead with sunshine and moderating temperatures for Saturday and Sunday. The next weather system threatens showers by Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Thunderstorms, heavy rain likely over southern MB this afternoon/tonight.. severe storms possible southeast

A sharp frontal zone over southeast MB today combining with a wave of energy moving in from the southwest will lead to the development of showers and thunderstorms over southern MB today into tonight, with areas of heavy rain likely as well as the potential for locally severe thunderstorms with hail and strong winds mainly over SE Manitoba. Heavy downpours are likely with thunderstorms, with rainfall amounts of 20-40 mm in a short period possible over southern MB including the RRV. Locally higher amounts are possible where storms regenerate over the same area. The activity is expected to merge into a large area of heavy rain mainly north of Winnipeg through the Interlake regions tonight where 50-75 mm is possible by Tuesday.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Warm air returns Sunday mainly south and east of Winnipeg..

A sharp frontal zone over northern North Dakota brought cloudy skies and rain over the Red River valley today, keeping afternoon temperatures only in the mid teens.. some 15C cooler than 24 hours earlier. On Sunday, this frontal zone will move back north as a warm front to lie across southern Manitoba by afternoon. Current indications are that this frontal zone will lie just south and east of Winnipeg Sunday afternoon, with temperatures reaching 30C south of this boundary over the southern Red River valley and southeast Manitoba. (see Sunday afternoon NAM temperature forecast image) Temperatures will be sharply cooler north and west of this front, with highs only in the mid teens to 20C along with occasional showers. At this point, it looks like most of this shower activity should stay north of Winnipeg.. good news for the final day of the LPGA golf tournament. However, the frontal zone will be close enough to the city to keep a threat of some showers, along with temperatures in the low to mid 20s (if we get some sunshine, 20c if we stay cloudy) This frontal zone will become stalled over the Red River valley Sunday night into Monday night with showers and thunderstorms moving in giving the potential for locally heavy rain as storms "train" along the stalled frontal zone.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Windy and warm again then unsettled by Sunday..

Windy and warm weather is moving back into southern MB as an increasing southerly flow returns to the eastern Prairies. Today will see plenty of sunshine with highs in the upper 20s as southerly winds pick up in the 30 km/h range. Friday will be even windier and warmer, with gusty south winds of 40 to 60 km/h pushing temperatures into the low 30s over the Red River valley. A weak front will pass through southern MB Friday night bringing slightly cooler but pleasant conditions Saturday along with light winds. By Sunday, low pressure developing over the western Dakotas will bring a warm front along the US border which will be the focus for scattered showers and thunderstorms Sunday into Sunday night. More showers and thunderstorms are likely by Monday as the main low moves across the border with cooler conditions moving in behind this system for early next week.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Increasing winds and heat for Sunday..

Perfect weather today will give way to more uncomfortable conditions Sunday as a strong southerly flow of hot and more humid air spreads into southern Manitoba. A developing low pressure system over Montana will push a warm front across southern MB overnight into Sunday morning with a few thunderstorms likely along the front, especially north and west of Winnipeg. As the warm front pushes north, gusty southerly winds of 40 to 60 km/h will develop over southern MB Sunday tapping a very warm airmass over the Northern US plains. Temperatures of 32-35C are likely across southern MB and the RRV by Sunday afternoon, with humidex values of 40-43C. The hot and windy conditions will continue through Sunday evening with temperatures likely remaining near 30C through midnight. A sharp cold front will cross southern MB Monday bringing showers and thunderstorms along with cooler temperatures.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cool start to the week.. warming up by the weekend ..

Cool temperatures will dominate the weather picture over southern MB over the next few days before a nice warm-up by the weekend. Today at least will feature sunshine which will offset the below normal temperatures. For Tuesday, a quick moving clipper system will bring increasing clouds and a few showers across southern MB, with temperatures only in the upper teens. This system will clear out Tuesday night with sunshine returning Wednesday but a continuation of below normal temperatures. Thursday should start to see some moderation in the weather pattern with warmer air moving in for Friday as temperatures climb back to normal. The weekend is looking summer-like again with highs close to 30C along with increasing humidity and a threat of thunderstorms.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Torrential early morning thunderstorm swamps Winnipeg

After 5 days of heat and humidity, Mother Nature unloaded over Winnipeg early this morning with a torrential thunderstorm that swamped the city with heavy rainfall. The storm moved in over the southwest part of the city by 5:40 am, and within 30 minutes had dropped about 40 mm of rain over much of the city. The heavy rainfall caused numerous problems in the city with traffic light outages, flooded underpasses and manhole covers being blown off by the tremendous rainfall rates.

The photo here (from Mike O'Flaherty to CJOB) shows the storm approaching the city from the west before 6 am. At my weather station in Charleswood, I recorded 33 mm of rain between 5:40 and 6 am, with a total of 41 mm by 6:40 am. Winnipeg airport recorded 43 mm of rain while the Forks had 40 mm downtown. The University of Winnipeg weather station recorded 57 mm between 5:50 and 6:50 am. Lesser amounts of 20-30 mm were recorded over the southern parts of the city. (click here for city of Winnipeg rainfall map) The thunderstorms signaled an upcoming change in the weather pattern, with cooler weather moving in for the weekend into next week.

Radar image from 6 am showing
intense cell over Winnipeg.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thunderstorms likely Thursday.. cooler weather for the weekend..

Warm and humid conditions will continue over southern MB for the next couple of days before a significant change to cooler weather this weekend into next week. The next threat of thunderstorms will be pushing into southern MB Thursday, spreading into the Red River valley by late afternoon and evening. Once again, a band of showers and thunderstorms are likely, with locally heavy rainfall possible. Some storms may be severe with strong wind gusts and hail. This activity will move out Thursday night with variable conditions for Friday. By Friday night, a cold front will sweep through Southern MB, with gusty northwest winds ushering in cooler air from northern MB. This front will signal a change to cooler and less humid conditions for the weekend into next week, with daytime highs only in the upper teens to low 20s.. a refreshing change to the hot and humid conditions of the past week.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Humidex advisory issued for southern MB.. temperatures of 32-35C today with humidex readings of 40-43C

A humidex advisory has been issued for much of southern MB today including Winnipeg as a hot and humid airmass spreads over the eastern Prairies. Temperatures today are expected to climb into the 32-35C range this afternoon over southern MB, with dewpoints around the 20c mark. This will result in widespread humidex values of 40-43C this afternoon, with local readings of 45C possible. Winnipeg should hit 33C this afternoon, with a chance of reaching the 35C mark. This should make today the hottest day in the city in 3 years since a 35.3C reading on July 29 2007, and the hottest August temperature in 7 years (35.9C on Aug 19 2003) Today will mark the peak of the heat spell, as unsettled conditions with cooler weather is expected beginning tomorrow.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Hot spell forecast for next week.. locally strong thunderstorms possible Saturday into Saturday night

Models are cranking up the heat beginning this weekend, and continuing much of next week. A warm front is forecast to push through southern MB on Saturday, which could trigger some heavier thunderstorms especially by Saturday night. (Note that SPC is indicating a slight risk of severe storms for Saturday over the northern Plains. Models hint at potential for strong elevated thunderstorms Saturday evening/night anywhere from North Dakota into central MB) We start getting into the steambath on Sunday with hot and humid conditions as the warm front pushes north of us, with afternoon highs of 30-33C and humidex values near 40. The hot and humid conditions are expected to persist through Thursday with daily highs in the 30-33C range before a cold front sweeps through late in the week with cooler air by next weekend. Although much of next week should be generally storm free as warm air aloft caps thunderstorm development over southern MB, there is a chance of daily scattered thunderstorm activity as weak impulses ride the upper ridge, especially through the Riding Mtn/Interlake areas. All in all though, looks like a steamy stretch of weather coming up, with potentially 5 straight days of 30C plus weather next week.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A couple of cool days ahead.. then warming up for the weekend..

Cooler weather is on tap today and Thursday as a northwest flow brings in a cooler airmass from northern Manitoba. Temperatures will only be in the low 20s today and Thursday along with a chance of showers today and tonight. (Temperatures may even be cool enough for some narrow bands of lake effect showers to the southeast of Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba overnight into Thursday morning) Things will improve by Friday as high pressure builds in with sunny skies, light winds and more seasonable temperatures. Warmer and more humid weather is expected for the weekend as temperatures climb back into the upper 20s. The increased warmth and humidity however will once again bring the threat of thunderstorms over southern MB, especially Saturday night and Sunday. Long range guidance is hinting at very warm weather for much of next week, with high temperatures in the 30s across southern Manitoba.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A look ahead..

A weak disturbance over the Dakotas will bring increasing clouds today across the RRV with scattered showers developing later today into tonight along with a risk of a thunderstorm. The unsettled weather will linger into Friday before drier conditions move in Saturday. Sunday looks like a potentially stormy day with a system passing through the Dakotas possibly bringing some heavier thunderstorms over southern MB, especially by Sunday night. The active weather should move out Monday as we close out the holiday weekend. The warmest days are expected to be Saturday and Sunday with highs approaching the 30 degree mark once again.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Warmer weather ahead

Sunnier and warmer weather is expected over southern MB over the next few days, as a cool unstable airmass over southern MB finally moves out of the area. After a cloudy start this morning (with showers over the southern Red River valley), skies will begin to clear out by this afternoon with temperatures of 27C forecast. Sunday looks fabulous with plenty of sunshine and highs of 28C. The warm weather is expected to continue into Monday with highs possibly reaching the 30C mark before a weak cold front pushes through southern MB late Monday into Monday night that may trigger some scattered thunderstorms. Slightly cooler but pleasant sunny weather is forecast through midweek before warmer weather returns for the end of the week into next weekend.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Rob's Obs on the move

Please note that my Rob's Obs weather station will be down for awhile as I relocate to my new place. It will take a few days to re-site and reinstall my station, but I hope to have it up and running in a few days barring any complications. In the meantime, Rob's Obs website will display current weather data from the Pacific Junction School in Charleswood, and Rob's blog is always there for discussion (although my time will be limited to join in). Here's hoping for good moving weather!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Severe thunderstorms likely this afternoon/evening..

A slow moving cold front crossing southern MB today will be the focus for severe thunderstorm development this afternoon into this evening. Storms are expected to fire up over the Red River valley this afternoon moving eastward toward the Ontario border by evening. Large hail and damaging winds will be the main threat, with isolated tornadoes possible with stronger storms. Stay tuned..

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Warm and muggy weather for Canada Day..

Things will be getting noticeably warmer and more humid in southern MB Thursday ahead of a weak area of low pressure moving in from southern Saskatchewan. In advance of the warm air, there is a chance of some thunderstorms over southern MB tonight into Thursday morning with some warm frontal elevated convection that is expected to fire up tonight. Most of this activity however is expected to push through the Interlake. Then we should get a break in precipitation through much of the day, with conditions getting noticably more warm and humid by the afternoon as temperatures climb towards the 30C mark in Winnipeg, and dewpoints near 20C.. giving humidex values of 35-38C. This will be the warmest day of the year so far for us so be prepared for warm and muggy weather for Canada Day activities since we haven't acclimatized to it yet this year. Additional thunderstorms are possible by late afternoon/evening as a weak trough pushes through that could trigger some locally heavy thunderstorms given the muggy conditions. All in all.. a summerlike start to July!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thunderstorms developing this afternoon/evening.. locally severe storms possible

Showers and scattered thunderstorms have developed across western MB this morning and this activity is expected to spread east into the Red River valley this afternoon into this evening. Due to the warm and humid conditions today, some thunderstorms may be severe with very heavy downpours, large hail and strong wind gusts. As a result, a severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for all of southern Manitoba for today. Stay tuned..

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Severe thunderstorms possible over southern MB this afternoon/evening..

Severe thunderstorms are possible this afternoon and evening across southern MB as an upper level disturbance tracks into southwest MB tapping an unstable airmass over the area. Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected to develop across SW Manitoba this afternoon and push eastward into the Red River valley later this afternoon and into SE Manitoba this evening. The strongest thunderstorms will be capable of producing large hail of 2 to 3 cm in diameter, torrential downpours of 25-50 mm/hr, and damaging wind gusts of 90 km/h or more. In addition, conditions are favourable for some storms to produce funnel clouds and/or tornadoes.. similar to what was reported in southern SK Monday afternoon. Stay tuned on this developing situation..

Monday, June 21, 2010

Welcome to Summer 2010!.. pass the umbrella and bug spray!

It’s the first official day of summer today.. but the weather this week doesn’t appear to be changing much from the unsettled pattern of the past few weeks. An active jet stream across the northern US is carrying occasional waves of energy from the west that are spawning periodic showers and thunderstorms across southern MB.. including today and Tuesday. For today, an area of showers and thunderstorms over northern North Dakota has drifted north into the Red River valley, bringing another round of rainfall to southern MB.. something we don’t need. Rainfall amounts of 15-25 mm have been recorded along the US border this morning with heavier amounts over northern ND. These showers have been weakening this morning, but local amounts of 5-15 mm are possible across the RRV and southeast MB today. Another impulse is forecast to move across southern MB Tuesday triggering more showers and thunderstorms.. with locally heavy rain likely again. This is unwelcome news for the southern Prairies which is struggling with saturated soil conditions and high water levels thanks to an exceptionally wet May and June so far that have seen some very heavy rainstorms at times.

So what kind of summer should we expect this year? According to NOAA’s Climatic Prediction Center, odds favour a cooler and wetter than normal summer this year over the Northern Plains (and southern Prairies). NWS Grand Forks’ summer outlook for the Red River valley calls for a warmer and drier finish to the summer after a cool and wet start. With all the ground moisture out there, odds would favour a wetter summer since soil moisture is such a critical factor in the development of convective precipitation over the Prairies (drought begets drought, likewise rain begets rain). Whatever the case, after last year’s cool wet summer, residents of southern MB are hoping this summer turns around soon from it’s less than ideal start.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday washout to give way to better weekend..

Cool wet and windy weather today will give way to improving conditions for the weekend as a major storm system over southern MB gradually pulls away into Northern Ontario. The system brought heavy rains across portions of western MB, southern SK, and southern AB where over 100 mm of rainfall was recorded over the past 2 days. Further south, the system triggered one of the worst tornado outbreaks over the Northern Plains in years with over 20 tornadoes reported across North Dakota and Minnesota yesterday afternoon, resulting in extensive damage and at least 3 fatalities. Winnipeg and the Red River valley of southern MB generally escaped the worst of this system with minimal rainfall, and little in the way of severe weather. The weekend should be a lot better weatherwise over southern MB with a mix of sun and cloud, although models indicate a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms Sunday with some weak instability moving across the area.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Developing storm system threatens showers and thunderstorms Thursday into Friday..

A weak system over North Dakota will circulate cloud and a few showers over southeast MB tonight into Tuesday. Most of the shower activity should stay southeast of Winnipeg, although generally cloudy skies will prevail over the Red River valley. Of greater concern is the expected evolution of a stronger storm system over the western US that threatens to bring more widespread showers and thunderstorms to southern Manitoba by Thursday into Friday. This storm system is expected to move over western North Dakota on Wednesday pushing an increasingly warm and humid airmass over southern MB by Thursday. This will likely trigger scattered thunderstorm activity with locally heavy rain possible. Additional showers and thunderstorms are expected Thursday night into Friday over southern MB with areas of heavy rain likely, especially over western MB into the Interlake regions where local rainfall amounts of 40 to 70 mm are possible. This system will bear close watching as soils are saturated across many areas of southern MB and southern SK, and any additional heavy rain will result in more problems for agricultural and hydrological interests.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Better weather ahead

After days of cloudy skies and wet weather, it looks like things will finally be improving over southern Manitoba this weekend. A trough of low pressure over the Red River valley this morning will slowly track eastward today, bringing a flow of somewhat drier air into southern MB through the weekend. Some breaks in the cloud cover today will give way to more sunshine Sunday, with temperatures finally rebounding to normal values. Sunshine and warm temperatures are expected through early next week before more unsettled weather moves in by mid to late week. The month of June has been anything but summerlike over southern MB with generally cloudy cool and damp conditions becoming an increasing concern for the agricultural and recreational sectors.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Thunderstorms possible this afternoon/evening

Showers are moving through the Red River valley this morning ahead of a low pressure system crossing southern Manitoba. The rain will move out this morning with some partial clearing developing from the west this afternoon helping to get temperatures into the low 20s. This will result in an increasingly unstable airmass over the Red River valley this afternoon with scattered thunderstorms developing as a cold front pushes in from the west. Some of the storms may be strong with heavy downpours and hail. Storms will move east of the region this evening with cooler conditions forecast for Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

More rain on the way Thursday night into Friday..

More rain is on the way for southern Manitoba Thursday into Friday as a trough of low pressure moves in from the west. Showers and isolated thunderstorms are expected to push into southwest MB Thursday morning reaching the Red River valley by evening. Showers will move across the Red River valley Thursday night into Friday morning with the chance of some isolated thunderstorms. Current indications show about 5-15 mm of rainfall over the Red River valley, although locally higher amounts of 15-25 mm are possible in thunderstorms. At this point, the best chance for thunderstorms and heavier rain will be south of the border through the Dakotas, and also through western Interlake areas. Hopefully the heaviest rain with this system will miss Winnipeg and the Red River valley which is saturated from heavy rains over the past weekend.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thunderstorms swamp Winnipeg, southern Manitoba for second day..

Strong to severe thunderstorms pummelled southern Manitoba once again Saturday, dumping very heavy rainfall across much of southern Manitoba along with hail and wind gusts over 100 km/h. The Red River valley was particularly hard hit with 50-150 mm of rainfall recorded (see image from Grand Forks NEXRAD showing radar rainfall estimate over southern Red River valley). Winnipeg was swamped with 50-100 mm of rain Saturday causing numerous problems with flooded basements and underpasses, and rapidly rising river levels. (see time lapse video of storm as it moved through downtown Winnipeg late Saturday afternoon) Northeastern parts of the city including East Kildonan and Transcona were particularly hard hit with city gauges reporting up to 108 mm of rain Saturday through Saturday night. The rain comes on top of the heavy rain that fell across the northern Red River valley Friday when 50-80 mm was recorded in some areas. Below are some rainfall totals for the past 24 and 48 hours recorded up to 6 am this morning.

Location            total rainfall     total rainfall
Last 24 hours last 48 hours

Winnipeg, the forks 73.6 mm 95.0 mm
Winnipeg, airport 57.5 mm 82.6 mm
Emerson 102.2 mm 110.4 mm
Portage la Prairie 89.8 mm 91.4 mm
Pinawa 80.6 mm 87.8 mm
Brandon 63.0 mm 63.0 mm
Carberry 46.2 mm 46.4 mm
Carman 23.4 mm 49.4 mm
Gimli 18.0 mm 26.0 mm
Sprague 13.2 mm 48.4 mm

Other reports from past 24 hours..

Pembina ND........... 170 mm (6.73")
Emerson..................165 mm (unofficial but reliable)
Winnipeg Charleswood.. 71 mm (108 mm past 48 hours)
Oakbank............... 91 mm
Selkirk............... 78 mm
Beausejour............ 75 mm

8 AM MAY 29 - 8 AM MAY 30

Rainfall graph from Rob's Obs, Charleswood showing precipitation past 24 hours. The rain came in two waves, with 24 mm between 8 and 10 am, then another 42 mm between 6 and 11 pm. This comes on top of the 37 mm recorded Friday morning between 5 and 10 am.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Severe thunderstorms, heavy rain hitting southern MB again..

Unsettled weather continues over southern MB today with more locally heavy rain, and severe thunderstorms. Heavy rain has set up just west and northwest of Winnipeg with local rainfall amounts of 40-65 mm reported. This band will be coming through Winnipeg this evening with more heavy rain likely.. which will compound local flooding concerns due to the heavy rains over the past day or so. Further south and east, severe thunderstorms with large hail and damaging winds are possible over the southern Red River valley and southeast Manitoba this evening.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Morning thunderstorms swamp northern Red River valley with heavy rain..

A line of thunderstorms ahead of a warm front produced heavy rain across the northern Red River valley Friday morning. The storms rolled into Winnipeg about 5 am and continued through much of the morning, dumping 25 to 40 mm of rain across the city by 10 am. A lightning strike even knocked off part of a church tower downtown around 6:45 am. The line of thunderstorms settled just south of the city between 8 and 10 am, dumping heavy rains of 50 to 80 mm from Elm Creek through Starbuck and La Salle to Landmark. (see map below) The showers and thunderstorms this morning are a prelude to what is expected to be a wet weekend over the Red River valley with additional showers and thunderstorms through Saturday into Sunday that threatens more heavy rain. This will elevate local flooding concerns if the heaviest rainfall occurs in areas already hit hard by heavy rain today.

Map showing rainfall amounts (in mm) from Weatherbug network as of 10:30 am

Highest rainfall totals Friday morning from Weatherbug and Manitoba Agriculture networks..

Glenlea.......... 78 mm
Landmark......71 mm
Elm Creek.......63 mm
La Salle...........62 mm
Sanford.........61 mm
St Adolphe........56 mm
Starbuck.........55 mm

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wet weekend on the way..

It looks like May will be ending on a wet note as a slow moving low pressure system tracks across the Dakotas and southern Manitoba this weekend. This system will tap very warm and humid air over the central Plains producing several waves of showers and thunderstorms that have already spread into southwest Manitoba today. Additional showers and thunderstorms are likely tonight which will track across southern Manitoba overnight into Friday as a warm front settles along the international border. This front will mark the leading edge of very warm and moist air over the Dakotas with cooler air over the central Prairies. There will be a sharp temperature gradient across this front Friday with temperatures of 30C or more along and south of the US border, and only in the teens through the Manitoba Interlake. On Saturday the low pressure system and associated frontal trough will slowly move across southern Manitoba generating more showers and thunderstorms Saturday through Sunday. Rainfall could be heavy at times with local amounts of 50 to 75 mm possible across portions of southern and central Manitoba by Sunday evening. Cooler and unsettled weather will follow in the wake of the system early next week.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Strong winds today..

Strong south to southwest winds are expected across the Red River valley today as a deep low pressure system over eastern Saskatchewan tracks northward. An area of dry and unstable air over southern MB will tap very strong winds aloft (south 40-60 knots) to mix down to the surface, with sustained winds of 50-60 km/h, and gusts of 70-90 km/h at times. The strongest winds are expected through midday and afternoon before winds ease later today. Click here for live wind readings (in knots) from Winnipeg airport.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another round of showers/thunderstorms on the way

Another low pressure system moving into the Dakotas today will spread more showers and possible thunderstorms into southern Manitoba today into tonight. The first batch of showers will spread into southern MB this morning from North Dakota with a few mm of rain possible as the band weakens. Later today into this evening, another round of heavier showers and thunderstorms is forecast to develop over North Dakota ahead of a warm front pulling warmer and humid air south of the border. This activity is expected to push into southern MB tonight with locally heavy rain possible. General rainfall amounts of 10-20 mm are likely with this second wave, however local amounts of 20-40 mm are possible in areas that see thunderstorms.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Holiday weekend outlook update..

Unsettled weather will be moving into southern MB for the holiday weekend.. especially Saturday into Saturday night when showers and thunderstorms with locally heavy rain are possible. The heaviest activity is expected west of the Red River valley overnight into Saturday where 25 to 40 mm of rain is possible with locally heavy thunderstorms. This activity will push east into the RRV by Saturday night. Drier weather is expected Sunday into Monday, before more showers move in Monday night into Tuesday.

The weekend outlook for Winnipeg and the RRV..

Saturday..Partly to mostly cloudy and breezy with a chance of showers or thunderstorms. Showers and thunderstorms over western MB spreading east into the valley by evening. High 24.
Saturday night..Showers and thunderstorms. Rainfall amounts 10-20 mm possible.
Sunday..A mix of sun and cloud. High 23.
Monday..Sunny at first then clouding over with showers developing Monday night. High 20.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Unsettled weather moving in for holiday weekend

After a summerlike week of sunshine and warm temperatures, it looks like the weather will be getting a little more unsettled for the holiday weekend. A developing low pressure system over the Northern Plain states will bring an area of showers and thunderstorms into southern MB by Saturday night, with locally strong thunderstorms bringing a threat of heavy rain and hail to some localities. This activity will move east of the RRV into NW Ontario during Sunday, but another area of showers is forecast to spread in on holiday Monday along with cooler temperatures. The weekend won't be a total washout, with dry weather most of Saturday and parts of Sunday, but be prepared for the potential of locally heavy rain at times, especially Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Based on current models, here's what the weekend is looking like for Winnipeg and the RRV...

Saturday..Partly sunny, breezy. Chance of a shower or thunderstorm especially over western MB and Interlake. High 24.
Saturday night..Showers and thunderstorms developing. Some locally strong thunderstorms possible with heavy rain and hail.
Sunday..Showers and thunderstorms moving east then partly sunny. High 24.
Monday..Cloudy and cooler with showers developing. high 20.

More details as we get closer to the weekend. Stay tuned.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fine stretch of summery weather ahead

After two weeks of below normal temperatures and unsettled conditions, the weather pattern will be shifting to a warmer and drier regime over the next week. Temperatures will be climbing into the mid 20s over the weekend into next week, with generally sunny skies and light winds. Normal highs for this time of year are around 20C so we'll be a good 5 degrees above that over the next week. Get out and enjoy it!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Some rain tomorrow.. then a warming trend later this week

A band of rain over southern SK is forecast to spread into southern Manitoba tonight into Monday. The rain is expected to reach Winnipeg and the Red River valley Monday morning. General amounts of 5-10 mm are expected with this band of rain, with local amounts of 15 mm. The rain should move off Monday night with some lingering cloud and a chance of showers for Tuesday. Warmer and drier weather is expected for the latter half of the week, with 20 degree temperatures likely returning by the weekend.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Snowflurries tonight?

After 2 days of rain, colder air is starting to sweep into southern Manitoba behind this storm system. Light rain continues over the Red River valley, but further northwest, rain has changed to snow over western Manitoba where there has been some accumulations north of Dauphin (see image here from Wellman Lake in the Duck Mtns) Winnipeg can expect to see additional light rain today into tonight with another 5 mm possible, but don't be surprised to see some flakes of wet snow overnight into Monday morning as colder air moves in. Accumulations are not expected here in the city, but there could be some areas that see a covering of slushy snow tonight into Monday morning. Another storm system tracking through the Prairies early this week is expected to bring more rain to southern Manitoba Tuesday, with wet snow possible again Tuesday night into Wednesday as another shot of cold air sweeps in. Welcome to May!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

April 2010 ninth mildest in Winnipeg since 1872

Ideal spring weather prevailed over southern Manitoba in April with warm and dry conditions for most of the month. The big story was the dryness, with no measurable precipitation recorded between the 3rd and the 27th. A storm system at the end of the month brought over 25 mm of much needed rain to Winnipeg and southern Manitoba, as soil conditions were becoming very dry in the prolonged dry spell. The month actually ended up with slightly above average precipitation (36 mm vs 31 mm), but that statistic fails to represent the extreme dryness experienced in April. There were frequent sunny days with low humidity, making for ideal conditions for outdoor activities. Every day of the month was above normal except one which was just below. The sunny dry weather helped boost the monthly temperature average to 8.3C at the airport, over 4 degrees above the normal of +4.0C. This makes April 2010 the 9th mildest in Winnipeg since records began in 1872, just behind April 1906 at 8.4C. (April 1915 stands as Winnipeg's warmest April with a monthly mean of 9.5C.) The warm conditions this month were prevalent over much of the eastern Prairies, northern Plains and Great Lakes regions which enjoyed one of the warmest and driest Aprils on record. (see map)

Overall, an ideal spring month with some beneficial rain at the end..

Rain eases dry spell over southern Manitoba

A major spring storm finally brought significant rainfall to all of southern and central Manitoba over the past few days bringing an end to the extremely dry conditions that had persisted over the area for virtually the past 2 months. Generally 20 to 40 mm fell across most of Southern Manitoba over the past 48 hours with a band of 40 to 65 mm across west central areas of the province.

The following are some of the higher rainfall amounts received
From Environment Canada and Manitoba agriculture sites over the
Past 48 hours up to 9 AM this morning.

Location rainfall (mm)

Ethelbert............ 66.0
Roblin............... 60.3
Swan valley.......... 53.0
Dauphin............. 50.4
Swan River.......... 44.8
Wasagaming........... 44.4
Eriksdale............ 43.6
Ste. Rose........... 43.2
Grandview............. 41.8
Moosehorn............. 36.8
Steinbach............ 34.6
Teulon............... 33.8
Dugald............... 33.6
Selkirk............. 33.2
Elm Creek............ 32.0
Starbuck............. 30.2

Winnipeg (Forks)........ 28.6
Winnipeg airport.......... 26.9
Winnipeg (Charleswood)......... 27.4

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wet weather finally moving into southern MB..

Our dry April will end up on a wet note as a complex storm system over western North America slowly pushes eastward over the next few days. This storm system will spread an area of showers into southern Manitoba Wednesday night into Thursday with some isolated thunderstorms possible. Rainfall amounts will likely be in the 5-15 mm range with this first wave of precipitation. There should be a break in the rain Thursday night into Friday morning before another wave of precipitation moves in Friday afternoon into Saturday as an intensifying low pressure system moves through North Dakota and southern MB. There is the potential for heavy rain and strong winds over portions of southern MB with this second wave of precipitation Friday night into Saturday, with even the chance of some wet snow mixing in on the backside of the system as colder air wraps in. All in all, it looks like some much needed precipitation will finally be arriving over southern MB between Wednesday night and Saturday, our first significant rainfall event of the season. Cooler unsettled weather is expected behind this storm system for the first part of May.