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.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dry spell continues.. wet weather by the end of next week?

The dry spell continues over Winnipeg and the Red River valley with no measurable precipitation recorded since April 2-3rd, a full 3 weeks ago. And the prospects for significant rain look slim for the next few days over most of southern MB as weather systems continue to bypass our area. There is a chance of some showers over southwest Manitoba Sunday afternoon into Sunday evening , but amounts are expected to be light. Dry weather is expected for the bulk of the upcoming week, but models are indicating the potential of our first significant rainfall over much of southern MB by Friday into next weekend as a large storm system moves into the Northern plains. Widespread showers and scattered thunderstorms are likely with this system, with areas of heavy rain possible over portions of the southern Prairies. It's still too early to say how much rain if any we'll be getting out of this system depending on its evolution and eventual track. However with things so dry over southern MB, the prospects of some beneficial rain is welcome at this point. Stay tuned..

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Manitoba extends burn ban as dry weather continues

The province has extended its burn ban to cover western and northwest parts of the province Tuesday, extending the ban that was issued for eastern and central areas on Monday. The dry sunny weather this month has left ground conditions very dry, and the risk of fires is growing with each sunny day. (see CBC story) Grass fires have been reported over parts of southern and eastern Manitoba, and the situation could get worse if high winds develop.

The City of Winnipeg has also issued a burn ban. Winnipeg fire officials said they are suspending open-air burning within city limits until further notice due to an "extremely high potential for fires to burn out of control." The city said it would not issue any permits for landowners to conduct burning on their properties. Officials promised to take legal action if anyone ignores the suspension. People using backyard fire pits are not affected by the city's edict, but are urged to use caution.

The prospects for rain are minimal across Manitoba into the weekend with no major weather systems expected to affect the province. There is a chance of some scattered showers or flurries over western and central areas over the weekend, but amounts are not excepted to be significant. The overall weather pattern looks dry through the end of the month which is not unusual for April since ground moisture and atmospheric humidity are quite low before vegetation starts leafing up in May.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Beautiful weekend on tap

Beautiful weather is on tap this weekend over southern Manitoba as high pressure brings plenty of sunshine along with light winds and temperatures in the upper teens to 20C. The light winds and strengthening April sunshine will make it feel even warmer, making it an ideal weekend to enjoy the outdoors. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Iceland volcano erupts... halts European air travel. Too early to assess long term weather impacts

From Dr Jeff Master's Wunderblog:

The Eyjafjallajökull volcano on Iceland erupted Wednesday, sending a towering cloud of volcanic ash 6 - 11 km (20,000 - 36,000') high in the air from its 1666 meter (5500') high peak. The ash cloud has caused a dramatic interruption of air traffic over much of northern Europe today, and this disruption will spread southwards and eastwards over the next day as the the ash cloud gradually spreads and disperses. (click here for the remainder of Dr Jeff Master's blog entry on this eruption as well as a followup)

It's still too early to speculate how this eruption may impact the global climate over the next few months and years. This initial eruption was too small to have a significant climate influence, especially for a high latitude eruption which tends to get washed out of the atmosphere more quickly than volcanic eruptions over tropical latitudes. However, if this volcanic eruption is sustained for weeks and months (like the Laki Iceland eruption of 1783-4), then it could have significant impacts on the global climate, especially over western Europe. Click here for more information on climatic impacts of volcanic eruptions.

More information available from the UK Met Office and ScienceBlogs . Be sure to check out the eyjafjallajokull webcam for live images of the eruption.

Update Apr 17: Some incredible new photos of the eruption, including this one showing lightning discharge from the ash cloud. Absolutely stunning. More amazing photos available at Stromboli online as well as from the UK Telegraph and Boston Globe.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Confusing weather?

Interesting satellite photo from today showing the large storm system over southern Saskatchewan which brought heavy snow to the southwestern Prairies while Winnipeg was treated to a sunny mild day in the low 20s. Even Mother Nature seems to be questioning the strange weather.. but hey, this is spring in the Prairies! (I captured a similar image last April)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Warm windy and wet weather moving in Tuesday

A storm system pushing into the US southwest is expected to intensify Monday night into Tuesday over eastern Montana bringing increasingly windy and unsettled weather over southern MB. The first wave of clouds from this system is pushing in tonight into Monday with scattered showers along the international border. The storm system will intensify Monday night into Tuesday as it moves into Montana, bringing an increasing southerly flow of warm moist air over the Dakotas into southern MB along a warm front. Showers and scattered thunderstorms are likely along this front Monday night into Tuesday with locally heavy rain possible especially over SW Manitoba where showers will be more persistent. Some thunderstorms may even produce hail over parts of southern MB overnight Monday into Tuesday morning. As the front pushes northward across southern MB Tuesday into Wednesday, gusty southeast winds will draw in warm air from the US plains, with temperatures possibly hitting the 20C mark for the first time this season across the RRV and SE Manitoba.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The week ahead

Dry mild weather is on tap over southern Manitoba for the week ahead with generally sunny skies and above normal temperatures. Increasing southerly winds are expected late in the week as a strong storm system pushes across northern Alberta by Friday. That system has the potential to bring heavy snow across northern Alberta before it weakens as it moves into northern Manitoba over the weekend. The next threat of precipitation over southern Manitoba will be early next week as low pressure develops over the western US and moves into the Dakotas.