Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dry weather over next week to give ideal snow melt conditions..

A blocking ridge of high pressure over the Prairies will maintain generally sunny and dry weather over the next week over southern MB.. giving ideal slow snow melt conditions over the Red River valley. Strong late March sunshine and afternoon temperatures near freezing will contribute to a slow snowmelt during the day, while well below freezing temperatures at night will prevent a more rapid melt. No major precipitation events are expected over the next week over southern MB, although models show the potential for some precipitation over the central US Plains with some stronger storms systems. Latest guidance is hinting for some unsettled weather moving into southern Manitoba the first few days of April. Until then, the weather is looking very favourable over southern MB. This is good news in light of the 20-40 mm of precipitation that fell in the Red River basin south of Grand Forks earlier this week. Updated flood outlooks from Grand Forks and Manitoba indicate an increased threat of major flooding over the Red River valley on par or worse than the flood of 2009, especially in the southern RRV of North Dakota.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Storm to spare much of southern MB.. significant precipitation still expected over Red River basin..

The storm system that was threatening to bring significant snowfall to southern MB as far north as Winnipeg will be sparing much of the area, with the heaviest precipitation expected to remain mainly south of the border over North Dakota. Winter storm warnings over southwest MB have been downgraded to areas mainly near the US border from Melita to Pilot Mound where 10-15 cm is possible. Heavier snowfall, mixed at first with ice pellets or rain, is expected across the Red River basin of North Dakota with a foot or more of snow forecast for Grand Forks this afternoon through tonight into Wednesday. Overall, it looks like 20-30 mm of precipitation is expected over the Red River basin of North Dakota through Wednesday which will add to the Red River flood threat as we get into the melting season. The good news is that most of the Assiniboine basin should miss out on heavier precipitation with this system.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Increasing threat of significant snowfall over Red River basin Tuesday into Wednesday

Models are indicating the potential for significant snowfall across the Red River basin this week as a strong storm system pushes in off the Pacific and tracks across the US Plains. This system will be bringing in considerable moisture from the south while colder air feeds in from the north. The result will be a widespread area of precipitation developing over the northern Rockies and northern Plains, spreading into southwest MB by Tuesday morning. Precipitation is expected to be mainly snow although it could initially be mixed at first with ice pellets or freezing rain. Snow will spread over the Red River valley Tuesday becoming heavy at times especially to the south and southwest of Winnipeg. Early indications are that snowfall amounts of 15-25 cm are possible across portions of southwest MB and southern RRV with locally heavier amounts across North Dakota where winter storm watches are currently in effect. At this point, Winnipeg appears to be on the northern edge of this system with perhaps 5-10 cm Tuesday into Tuesday night.. but we'll be watching this system closely to see if there's any northward trend noted with the precipitation shield. Regardless, it looks like there could be a significant amount of precipitation falling into the Red River basin over the next few days. Stay tuned on this developing storm system.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

System to bring rain and snow to southern MB Wednesday

A low pressure system moving across southern MB Wednesday into Wednesday night is forecast to bring an area of rain and snow to our area, with some potentially heavy snowfall through the Riding Mountain and Interlake regions where snowfall warnings have been issued. Current indications are that areas along and south of the TransCanada will get some rain and wet snow Wednesday while areas north of the TransCanada through the Interlake and Riding Mtn areas will see mainly snow.. possibly heavy at times. At this point, it looks like maybe 5 mm of rain will fall along the TransCanada corridor Wednesday, including Winnipeg, with rain mixed with wet snow at times especially by evening. Heavier snowfall amounts of 10-15 cm are possible to our north and northwest Wednesday into Wednesday night. Snowfall amounts will be tricky depending on surface temperatures (will be some melting with near or above freezing temps Wednesday), timing of transition to snow, and elevation issues (heaviest snowfall will likely be over higher elevations to the west of Lake Manitoba). Travellers should be advised that locally heavy snow may be occurring Wednesday into Wednesday evening, especially north and northwest of Winnipeg.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Slick conditions developing Friday with mixed precipitation changing to snow and blowing snow Friday evening

A storm system over the western Prairies is forecast to track through the MB interlake region overnight into Friday bringing a mixed bag of weather over southern MB Friday into Friday night. Milder air in advance of the system will bring some patchy rain, ice pellets or freezing rain over southern MB Friday morning, with slippery conditions likely as rain freezes on contact with colder surfaces. Temperatures are expected to rise above freezing for a few hours Friday afternoon (+1 to +4C range) which will result in some melting of snow and ice. A strong cold front however is expected to push through the Red River valley by late Friday afternoon with snow and blowing snow developing accompanied by strong northerly winds of 50 to 70 km/h. This front will drop temperatures well below freezing Friday evening freezing up any standing meltwater resulting in slick conditions. Snow and blowing snow will bring about 5 cm of fresh snow to Winnipeg and the RRV Friday night with heavier amounts likely north and east of the city. Be prepared for poor driving conditions across southern MB and the Interlake regions especially Friday evening into Friday night as temperatures drop and snow and blowing snow produce poor visibilities. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Winnipeg and southern MB on the potentially wild and wintery weather Friday.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Storm system threatens snowfall for Friday.. risk of freezing rain

Long range models are indicating the possibility of a storm system that will track across North Dakota Friday threatening snow and some mixed precipitation (freezing rain, ice pellets or even rain) across Southern Manitoba. Preliminary models suggest snow will spread over southern MB Friday possibly mixed with some rain or freezing rain initially. It's too early to say how much snow may accompany this system but early estimates are for at least 5-10 cm of snow across the TransCanada corridor and potentially 10-15 cm over parts of southern MB. Stay tuned on this potentially wintery finish to the work week.