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)