Friday, April 29, 2011

Strong storm system to bring significant rain, snow and wind to southern MB this weekend

Don't let that 22C sunshine today fool you.. Old Man winter is still lurking in the Prairies and will make his presence felt within 24 hours as an intensifying storm system moves across North Dakota tonight into Saturday. In advance of this system , rainshowers will overspread southwestern MB tonight and become more widespread overnight as they push into the Red River valley. Rain will continue Saturday in southeastern MB while colder air moving into western MB will change the rain to snow Saturday morning. Snow will increase in intensity as strong northerly winds to 70 km/h brings in unseasonably cold air, producing poor visibilities in snow and blowing snow. Travel will become difficult over southwestern MB into the Interlake regions Saturday into Saturday night where winter storm warnings are in effect for 10 to 20 cm of snow, with even greater amounts possible over the higher elevations of Riding and Turtle Mountains. The heavy snow and strong winds may also lead to local power outages. Rain will change to snow from the west during Saturday, reaching Portage by afternoon and Winnipeg by evening. At this point, it looks like Winnipeg and the RRV will see about 5 cm of snow Saturday night accompanied by cold northerly winds with temperatures dropping below freezing making for poor travel conditions. If the storm moves slower, Winnipeg could see greater snowfall amounts. The storm is expected to move into NW Ontario Sunday leaving cloudy skies and cold temperatures in its wake.

While unusual, snowfall at this time of year is not unprecedented. In 1967, Winnipeg saw 21 cm of snow on May 1st. In 2004, a snowstorm on May 11-12th produced 20-30 cm of snow across southern MB including Winnipeg leading to the shutdown of the TransCanada highway. Here is a list of Winnipeg's heaviest all time May snowfalls..

1. May 11, 2004.....31 cm (estimated)
2. May 1, 1967.... 21.1 cm
May 19, 1931.....20.3 cm
May 9, 2002.....20.0 cm
5. May 20, 1882.....15.2 cm
May 5, 1938.....13.0 cm
May 5, 1931.....12.2 cm


  1. I just love Environment Canada's statement on the warnings out west: "Winter returns". Looks like we're not quite out of it yet!

  2. Rob!
    These situations are the most dangerous!!
    When you have a 20 C day then a very quick transition back to winter weather!

    With a -7 C overnight low and 70 km/h wind the windchill could be around -16

    You watch how many people are running around in shorts and light jacket tomorrow night!!

  3. Can it be???
    Blizzard Warnings issued for areas south of the border....yep!!!

  4. Possibly 50 cm over high elevations! Unreal!

  5. I know they pushed back the flood crest to May 4th but will they push it back even further with this weekends precip? And how will this affect the current flooding situation? Will there be a second crest?

  6. Insane storm.. lots of amazing photos and video from southeast SK and western MB being submitted to the Weather Network's photo gallery.. looks like something from the middle of January out there. Awful. Looks like GEM was the best model on this system showing a slower, more intense storm than other guidance.

    Up to 17 mm of rain here so far.. with 20 to 30 mm north of us through the southern Interlake. Looks like another 5-10 mm for us before we change over to snow tonight.. hopefully, the bulk of the pcpn will be pulling out by the time its cold enough for snow, but I suspect we'll see a few cm at least tonight into Sunday morning.

  7. Colder air has pushed into Portage with temperatures below freezing there as of 3 pm.. and that subfreezing air will be pushing eastward across the RRV over the next few hours. We could see a period of freezing rain before we transition to snow this evening. Be aware of deteriorating travel conditions this evening especially west and north of Winnipeg.

  8. I cannot believe we went from 22 C the other day, now we are hitting rock bottem with a HIGH of -1 C and windchill to boot!!

  9. Looks like Dauphin has been bearing the brunt of this storm so far with numerous hours of blizzard conditions!!

  10. Rob has already recieved 25 mm ( 1 inch ) of rain today!! That is not good news!!

  11. Freezing line just approaching west end of Winnipeg now with below freezing temps just west of the city in Sanford and west Headingley according to CWB network. Rain has moved out of the city for now, but another area of showers is moving up from the southeast while temps continue to drop. As a result, we may see an hour or two of freezing rain or ice pellets between 8 and 10 pm, before we get into some wraparound snow later this evening. Currently snowing north and west of Winnipeg in Woodlands and Portage.

  12. Blizzard warning for Portage area now!!! Unreal!
    This storm is much worse than I thought it was going to be!!!

  13. Well, no freezing rain or ice pellets or snow yet, at least in Charleswood. Dry slot with the precip holding off for now, though the radar appears to show precip on the east side of the city.

  14. Welcome to March everyone. Sigh..

    About 1-2 cm of snow here in Charleswood, snow and blowing snow.. freezing cold, not a pleasant way to start the month.

    EC is looking for snowfall reports from this storm.. please email snowfall amounts and location to

  15. welcome to March.....???
    I think you hit the wrong keys on the keyboard!!!!

    We all know how much Rob LOVES winter weather....

  16. I do love winter weather.. in WINTER!!

  17. In Southeast Winnipeg about 2 mm of Freezing rain just after midnight. Then 4 cm of snow up to 9AM this morning. Streets look slippery. Be careful if drving or walking.

  18. Total of 26 mm of rain here at my place yesterday.. with 1.5 cm of snow overnight.

    General rainfalls of 20-30 mm over SE MB and northern RRV, with 30-40 mm over southern Interlake. Rain fell off sharply south and west of Winnipeg with only 5-10 mm reported.

    Some impressive snowfalls over west central MB through the northern Interlake regions.. including 50 cm in Cowan (north of Dauphin), 32 cm in Grand Rapids, 35 cm+ in Norway House.. similar totals over SE SK. Crazy stuff.

  19. Daniel P Impressive forecast. Peggers in shorts spotted jogging at Waverly and Chevrier this afternoon.

  20. Looks like Winnipeg will set a record for lowest daily maximum for May 1st.. a high of -1.7C for the day, beating the previous record of +0.9C in 1991. Not the kind of record I like breaking.

    Kind of a misleading stat though.. May 1st 1967 was a colder day with a blizzard giving 21 cm of snow and -4C temps all afternoon. However, we registered a high of +2.2C just after midnight before the storm started, so officially the high in the books that day was +2.2C.

  21. Come on folks, this spring hasn't been that bad in terms of temperatures. 2009 was much worse. I remember a snowstorm in North Dakota on June 6, 2009. This is a full 35 days earlier, no big deal.

  22. Memory is a fickle thing, however I recall snow banks on Portage ave when returning on the May long weekend in the 60's,or early 70's (19xx not 18).
    Not that impressive as home is Calgary where snow is an every month occurrence.

  23. It's trying to warm up Rob! 0.0 at the airport, -0.3 in my backyard. Might not set that low high record yet!

  24. Quite the weather pattern taking shape. I think we're going to see precip continuing to run above normal through May and possibly into early summer.

    There seems to be a consensus, predicting a strong southwestern/south central US ridge in the coming months. The drought conditions in Texas and Oklahoma certainly do boost that notion.

    I'm interested to see how everything unfolds. Models are showing a couple of quick moving systems this week which could spark off some showers and maybe the odd thundershower in southern Manitoba. Ensembles are also pointing at another large storm system taking shape close to us shortly after next weekend.

  25. Rob Is there a webcam for Brandon?
    Is that more sleet in Brandon on Robs/TWN radar page this am.

  26. Don..

    If you go to the Winnipeg Free Press Flood watch section, they have 2 live flood cams from Brandon. Nice and sunny there.. those returns this morning on radar were false echoes common with early morning inversions, not actual precipitation.