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.


  1. 17 floors up, it is absolutely ridiculous. I can't open the front door to my apartment if my balcony window is open. I've seen some balcony furniture take the dive off the edge, which is a little dangerous. Keeping an eye out and it looks like some trees are nearly ready to break.

  2. Strongest winds right now from Pilot Mound through Portage LP with sustained winds of 60 km/h and gusts of 70-90 km/h at times. These areas a little colder aloft which is helping to destabilize things and get those strong winds aloft to surface more easily. With the main low heading due north, that axis of strongest winds may stay just to our west much of the day.. but we'll still be quite windy here in Winnipeg and the RRV.

  3. Looks like sustained winds are staying in the 40-60 km/h range with gusts in the 70-80 km/h range.. just shy of wind warning criteria which is sustained winds of 60 km/h or more and/or gusts of 90 km/h or greater. Winds should be peaking now so I don't foresee them getting any stronger this afternoon.. but it will still be quite gusty out there. Watch out for those rolling garbage bins!

    Note that EC's wind warning criteria will be changing in the next month or so to sustained winds of 70 km/h or more, with gusts of 90 km/h or more. Apparently, there is a greater liklihood of wind damage at this slightly higher criteria.

  4. Definitely strong jets aloft, but also quite a substantial surface gradient. I'm thinking this whole event might just be driven by the tight surface gradient with the jets aloft a reflection of the lack of friction.

    I've noticed that it's difficult to get warning-level winds in Winnipeg; my guess is the location: right in the middle of a very diffluent portion of the RRV for winds from the south.

  5. Have quite a few small branches blown down here in St James!

    With one large 3 inch diameter branch down!!

  6. May we get some more thunderstorms this weekend? =D

  7. Chris - Windsor Park10:48 AM, May 26, 2010

    Looks quite chilly this weekend. Only 9C on Sunday! Instead of thunderstorms, will we get snow?
    Very hot out east. Is this a blocking pattern setting up where we get the cool unsettled weather while the east continues with the hot stuff?

  8. Models do show quite a chilly day on Sunday. A high of 9C might be a bit optimistic if you look at the GFS (high around +6C). GFS also gives a chance of flurries. However, things should rapidly improve for next week with a large ridge forecast to build over the prairies.

    The NAM is showing a potential risk of severe weather on Friday and Saturday for southern Manitoba. This risk will be highly dependent on the track of the system to the south. Since the temperature/instability gradient is very tight a small shift in the track of the low will completely change the at risk areas. As of right now, the best dynamics are forecast to remain south of the border (the bigger question is when aren't the best dynamics south of the border?), but like I say, that could change quite easily.

  9. Watch for round of potentially strong storms as early as Friday morning following nose of LLJ. The jet will jump from a broad SE to NW alignment (following the elevation contours of the High Plains/ western prairies) to its other preferred postion from NE S dakota into NW Ontario - this in response to lead disturbance and surface low setting up over eatern Montana.

    Think GFS is too far north with resulting complex Thursday overnite into Friday with best lift from LLJ along and south of TransCanada. WSW to ENE oriented baroclinic zone stalls out somewhere over our region as several more waves track along it. Another shot of nocturnal Tstroms likely on Satrurday morning... then we have to see where warm sector sets up ahead of main low with CAPES of 4500 J/kg.

    Looks similar to last system but this time there appears to be better convergence of thermodynamic and dynamic parameters with upper low tracking over us and tapping low level instability axis more effectively.