Monday, March 22, 2010

Snow free March continues.. will it last?

Our remarkable early spring weather continues into the third week of March, with still no measurable snow in Winnipeg since the start of the month. (The airport had a few flurries last Thursday night but nothing measurable) Since 1872, there has never been a March in Winnipeg that has not had some measurable snow. The least snowy March was back in 1946 with only 0.8 cm for the month. The top 5 least snowy Marches in Winnipeg since 1872 are as follows..

1946 ......... 0.8 cm
1938 ......... 1.0 cm
1939 ......... 1.5 cm
1961 ......... 1.5 cm
1924 ......... 2.3 cm

The question is.. we will set a new snow free mark this year? We keep dodging bullets as weather systems bypass Winnipeg, but our luck may be running out this week as a couple of clipper systems move across the southern Prairies. One moving through Wednesday may bring a cm or two to Winnipeg and the Interlake regions, followed by another clipper with a chance of snow Friday night. Time will tell if we can dodge a couple more bullets to set a new new record for March.

One thing to keep in mind through, of all those top 5 least snowy Marches, ALL of them had measurable snow in April and some even in May. (see monthly snowfall table below)


1946 ......... 0.8 cm .... 0.8 cm .... Tr
1938 ......... 1.0 cm .... 13.7 cm .... 8.4 cm
1939 ......... 1.5 cm .... 1.5 cm .... 0.0 cm
1961 ......... 1.5 cm ..... 7.6 cm .... 0.0 cm
1924 ......... 2.3 cm ....18.8 cm .... 0.3 cm

So a lack of snow in March is no sign that winter weather is over.


  1. Rob!

    Is El Nino still to blame for these very dry conditions or has El Nino faded already????

  2. Yes, El Nino is still dominating the North American storm pattern with a more active southern storm track affecting the southern US, while a northern storm track keeps Arctic systems to our north with drier and milder conditions prevailing over the southern Prairies. El Nino is forecast to weaken considerably over the next month or two, which should increase the chances for more active weather over the southern Prairies.

  3. Models are showing some fairly warm weather next week. Highs could be in the +13 to +18C range by Wednesday.

  4. Rob!

    Have you heard talk about a volcano in Iceland that if the big one were to erupt then there could be implications on the weather patterns???

  5. daniel.. no I didn't hear anything on that.. but I came across this story on Yahoo (click my name) I was under the impression that it was mainly the eastern Pacific volcanoes that had the greatest impacts on global climate, but it looks like even Icelandic volcanoes can lead to world wide weather disruptions given it's big enough. Let's hope not.. I'm not a fan of global cooling!

  6. I tell ya, the southern states must not be liking the El Niño the storms just keep pounding them with storms and then cold temperatures like in New Mexico/Colorado where there is currently winter storm watches/warnings! Would not like to be travelling there these days. Just hoping the El Niño keeps strong and doesnt bring those storms over here.

  7. Wow a -21C low on Thursday morning? Do you guys think we will actually get that low? That will feel incredibly cold after this latest warm spell!

  8. Yes, it's going to be a chilly one Thursday. Large Arctic high building down from NWT with lots of cold advection Wednesday night. With clearing skies and diminishing winds, we should be dropping to the -15 to -20C range by Thursday morning. Heat loss will be enhanced if we get a coating of snow overnight tonight into Wednesday morning which looks possible as a clipper moves across southern MB from southern SK (currently giving snow over west central SK) with a couple cm possible. Our snowfree March looks in jeopardy.

  9. At this point, low looks like it will track just to the north of Winnipeg with the bulk of forcing/lift thru the interlake early Wednesday. Southern RRV will be in balmy warm sector characterized by westerly flow until early afternoon - at which time arctic front plunges south across int'l border. Look for a huge temperature contrast between lets say Gimli and Grand Forks tomorrow afternoon (-5 to +10 C).

    With out any new snow cover -20 C as a low seems excessive Thursday morning. With 850 hPa temps of -16 C progged.. we would need very shallow layer (arctic inversion) to sneak into northern RRV. With bare ground that will be considerably warmer than the air above... I think we will see enough modification to prevent the above from happening. Also, centre of high remains in central Manitoba giving us a NNE flow. This is traditionally not as good a set-up for temperatures to crater at YWG.

  10. Rob!

    Does the snow still look on track for tonight and tomorrow???

    2 Cm looks reasonable??

    Oh and the -31 windchill is gonna hurt!!!

  11. Looks as though Winnipeg will receive at least some lite snow with heavier bands possibly brushing northern parts of the city...


    There goes our snow less March~~

  13. On the North side of the city we got at least 2 inches

  14. At 4:30am it was snowing but the sidewalks were still bare. Snowed pretty hard for just over an hour

  15. Only a trace of snow in Steinbach. The accumulation is barely noticeable.

    Temperatures look to get very nice starting Sunday. Models show the potential for multiple days above 10C next week.

  16. 2 inches in the north end Daryl! Wow, thank goodness we only got about 1 cm where I live in the south end =D.

  17. 1.6 cm in Charleswood.. first measurable snow in over a month.

  18. Yeah there was a lot more snow around the north perimeter then inside the city. I was driving around the south side of the city and the snow was nearly all gone around noon. My wife called me and told me the yard was still full of snow this afternoon.

  19. A chilly morning out there with temperatures ranging from -19C in the north end of the city where there was a little more snow, to -14C in the south end. Luckily winds are light so windchill is not an issue. A bright but cold day with highs to -6C, then a nice warmup for next week with highs into the teens. GFS continues to advertise a stormy wet end to the week next week with some heavy rain possible over southern MB.