Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January to end on cold quiet note

Seasonably cold and quiet weather is on tap over southern Manitoba for the rest of the week into the weekend as high pressure over the Prairies blocks incoming weather systems. A brisk northwest flow of Arctic air today will diminish tonight into Thursday as a ridge of high pressure over Alberta builds into the Dakotas. This will result in more comfortable conditions Thursday and Friday with lighter winds and temperatures near normal. A weak trough of low pressure will move across southern MB on Saturday followed by a reinforcing shot of cold air for Sunday into early next week as another area of Arctic high pressure builds over the province. All in all, a pleasant end to January, which will finish about 4 or 5C above normal thanks to the spell of above normal temperatures the past 2 weeks.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Blizzard conditions slamming Red River valley and southern not advised

Blizzard conditions have developed over the Red River valley this morning as strong northerly winds gusting to 70 or 80 km/h combine with falling snow to give poor visibilities in snow and blowing snow across the area. Travel is not advised across most highways in southern MB with several highway closures including the TransCanada between Winnipeg and Portage La Prairie and Hwy 75 to the US border. Whiteout conditions are being reported outside the city of Winnipeg with occasional zero visibility in exposed areas even within the city at times. Many rural schools are closed with bus service cancelled in most areas including Winnipeg. Blizzard conditions will continue through the morning into the afternoon before conditions begin to improve later this afternoon into this evening as snow diminishes and winds ease up. All in all.. a difficult start to the work week, with travel not recommended throughout the Red River valley. (See Free Press article on blizzard over southern MB along with photos and video)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Colder air and increasing winds moving into southern MB.. poor travelling conditions developing tonight into Monday

Temperatures will be on the way down this afternoon into tonight and Monday over southern MB as northwest winds start to pick up behind a large storm system over Wisconsin. The bulk of the snow from this storm system has ended over southern MB, however an additional 2-5 cm of new snow is possible tonight into Monday morning as cold air deepens over the area. Strong northwest winds increasing to 50 gusting 70 km/h overnight into Monday will combine with the additional snowfall to give poor visibilities in blowing snow over open areas. In addition, temperatures dropping into the mid minus teens by Monday morning will freeze up any standing water or slush from Saturday's wet snow, producing icy conditions on area roadways and bridges. This will make for poor travelling conditions tonight and Monday across southern MB, especially for the Monday morning commute.. so caution is advised if driving especially on highways outside Winnipeg. Consult MB highways for the latest road conditions across southern MB.

UPDATE: 3:30 pm Sunday: Blizzard warning issued for Red River valley including the city of Winnipeg. Strong northwest winds combining with a developing area of fresh snow tonight will produce visibilities below 1 km across the RRV overnight into Monday. Worst conditions will be in exposed rural areas outside the city. Stay tuned..

Friday, January 22, 2010

Winter Storm Warning posted for southern MB

Winter storm warnings have been posted for all of southern MB as a large storm system over the central and northern states slowly moves towards Minnesota. This system will bring a prolonged period of snow, beginning tonight and continuing through the weekend into Monday morning. The first wave of snow will be pushing into southern MB tonight from the south, and may mix with ice pellets or even freezing rain tonight into Saturday. Snow will ease somewhat over southern MB Saturday as the heaviest snowband shifts north, with precipitation possibly changing to drizzle or freezing drizzle as surface temperatures hover near the freezing mark. Snow is expected to redevelop Saturday night into Sunday as the main low pressure system intensifies over Minnesota. Northerly winds will increase later Sunday into Sunday night with snow and blowing snow giving poor visibilities and travel conditions Sunday night into Monday. All in all, storm totals of 15 to 25 cm are expected across southern MB by Monday morning, with the highest amounts across the western Red River valley through the eastern slopes of the Riding Mountains.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Snow moving in this weekend.. colder next week

After an extended period of mild and snowfree weather, it looks like southern MB will finally be seeing some snow this weekend. A complex storm system will develop to the lee of the American Rockies Friday and begin to affect the eastern Prairies into the weekend. The storm system will initially spawn a low over Montana that will spread snow over southern SK and southwest MB Friday into Friday night. This low is expected to weaken by Saturday, as the main energy is transferred to a more intense Colorado low that will track into Minnesota over the weekend. This low will bring snow to much of southern MB Saturday into Sunday, with amounts of 5-15 cm possible, with heavier amounts likely south of the border. The snowfall may be mixed with freezing rain or ice pellets on Saturday over the RRV and southeast MB as warmer air aloft feeds into the system. By Sunday, increasing northerly winds on the backside of the storm will bring colder temperatures over southern MB along with snow and areas of blowing snow. In the wake of the storm, colder and drier weather is expected Monday through next week as Arctic air pushes back into southern MB for the first time in two weeks.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Winter storm system may affect parts of southern Manitoba by Sunday..

Long range models continue to show the possibility of a strong storm system developing over the central US plains moving into Minnesota by the end of the upcoming weekend. This storm system has the potential of bringing the first significant snowfall over southern MB since our Christmas storm, with heavier amounts possible over North Dakota and Minnesota. This system is still several days away and there is a lot of uncertainty on the track and strength of the storm, but the potential is there for a snowy end to the weekend over southern MB. Stay tuned..

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mid January warm spell a record breaker over southern MB

A mild westerly flow of Pacific air brought record breaking temperatures across southern MB today, including Winnipeg. Temperatures soared into the +3 to +6C range in most localities, some 15 to 20 degrees above normal for mid January in southern MB. Slightly cooler weather is expected Sunday and Monday, however above normal temperatures are expected to continue over southern MB through the upcoming week.

Today's record highs across southern MB

SITE............REC HI...................OLD RECORD.........REC BEGAN
Gimli               5.8            2.8    1961       1945
Winnipeg 4.1 3.9 1961 1873
Pinawa 5.2 0.6 1973 1964
Melita 3.5 -1.0 1999 1994
Fisher Branch 5.2 0.5 1999 1978

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mild weather to continue through next week

Above normal temperatures ares expected to continue over southern MB through the weekend and into next week.. possibly through the end of the week. Long range models are indicating no major push of Arctic air over the next 7-10 days, which means mild Pacific arimasses will dominate the Prairies over the next week. After a slightly cooler day today, daily high temperatures will be in the 0 to -3 range in the Red River valley, with above freezing temperatures at times in the favoured downslope areas and treed areas. Stock up on the wiper fluid!

Monday, January 11, 2010

January thaw spreading across Prairies

A flow of mild Pacific air is spreading across the western Prairies today, with above freezing temperatures moving into Alberta and southern Saskatchewan. This mild air will move into southern MB Tuesday and Wednesday, with above freezing temperatures likely in many areas, especially where southerly winds blow down from higher terrain. Warmest spots will likely be in the Dauphin and McCreary areas where downslope winds from the Riding Mountains will send temperatures up to +7 or +8C. Elsewhere, high temperatures over southern MB will be in the 0 to +3C range, although temperatures will likey remain slightly below freezing in the river valleys where cooler air gets trapped. Slightly cooler weather is expected Thursday but tempeatures are expected to remain above normal over the next week.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Brisk winds Saturday.. then major warmup begins..

A major warmup will be spreading east across the Prairies this weekend into next week, with temperatures rising to well above normal values over southern MB. Before then, Winnipeg and the Red River valley will have to put up with one more cold day Saturday as brisk southerly winds begin to flush out the remaining Arctic air. Don't let that Saturday high of -12C fool you.. it won't be reached until late in the day, with gusty south winds adding a noticeable wind chill much of the day. By Sunday, winds will drop off and milder air will be pushing in from Saskatchewan.. allowing temperatures to climb into the minus single digits over Winnipeg and southern MB. Even milder conditions are forecast to spread into southern MB by Tuesday, with above freezing temperatures possible in some areas, especially favoured downslope areas such as east of the Riding Mountains (Dauphin, McCreary), north of the Turtle Mtns (Boissevain, Killarney) and the western Red River valley (Portage, Morden) Even Winnipeg may approach the melting point by Tuesday. The mild conditions are expected to continue through much of the upcoming week.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Another cold blast on the way, but warming trend for the weekend into next week..

An Arctic ridge of high pressure over Saskatchewan will build southward into the Dakotas Thursday ushering in colder air over southern MB for today through Friday.  Increasing northerly winds today will bring down colder air from the north with daytime highs back in the low minus 20s over southern MB Thursday and Friday and lows near minus 30C. The good news is that the cold outbreak should not last long with a significant warming trend expected to develop on the weekend. Saturday will see gusty southerly winds start to flush out the Arctic air, with temperatures forecast to rise into the minus single digits by Sunday. Well above normal temperatures are expected through next week as a mild Pacific flow becomes established across the Prairies. In fact, long range models are indicating the potential of a January thaw developing by mid week with temperatures at or above freezing over portions of southern MB. Let the melting begin!     

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Ideal weather as Olympic torch comes to Winnipeg

Weather conditions should be ideal this evening as the Olympic torch comes to Winnipeg.  Temperatures at the Forks should be around -12 to -13C this evening with light winds and a few flurries in the air, very pleasant conditions for early January when temperatures and windchills could be a lot more brutal.  A weather system over Montana will bring an area of snow over southwestern MB this evening but the bulk of the snow is expected to track into North Dakota overnight into Wednesday. Increasing northerly winds will draw in colder conditions over Winnipeg and southern MB for Wednesday through Friday before milder conditions move in on the weekend.   

Friday, January 01, 2010

2010 off to a chilly start

2010 is off to a frosty start across southern MB this morning with temperatures in the minus 30s across the region. Winnipeg airport dropped to -34C this morning, the first -30C reading of the season. With westerly winds of 15 km/h, this is producing wind chills of -45 across the Red River valley this morning. Temperatures will climb only to -23C this afternoon, about 10C below normal before another cold night tonight with overnight lows in the minus 30s again.. with -40C possible over extreme SE Manitoba in the Sprague region. Temperatures will moderate a bit for Sunday into Monday but are forecast to remain below normal through next week.