Monday, January 09, 2012

Another record breaking mild day across southern MB

Another day of record highs is expected across southern MB today as the abnormally mild weather pattern of the past month continues across the Prairies.

Highs today of +4 to +9C are expected across southern MB, with the warmest readings expected over the snowfree areas of the southern and western RRV, as well as along the US border. Satellite photos (see left image above) show an incredible lack of snowcover across the southern Prairies and northern Plains, with no snow on the ground over most of the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana, and much of southern SK and SW MB. The image looks like something from April, not early January! Note the webcam image from Emerson today (above right), showing a complete lack of snowcover under clear blue skies and temperatures of +7C as of 1 pm. Much of the RRV south and west of Winnipeg looks like this. More records are expected today across southern MB, although Winnipeg will likely be slightly shy of today's record high of +5.6C in 1958 due to some lingering snow on the ground here.

Today's records across Manitoba

Location............................ Rec High ........ old ........... year......Records began
BRANDON                 4.5      4.4      1986    1890
GRETNA 8.0 7.2 1958 1956
ISLAND LAKE -0.2 -0.6 2002 1971
MELITA 8.6 3.9 2006 1993
SPRAGUE 5.9 5.0 1958 1916
THOMPSON -3.3 -3.8 1983 1967

Regardless, today marks the 31st consecutive day of above normal temperatures in Winnipeg and southern MB (see temperature graph left). Daily temperatures have been above normal every day since Dec 10th averaging 10C above normal through the period, with only 4 days below normal since Nov 21st (a span of 49 days) But some changes are on the way as colder air is poised to move in over southern MB by Wednesday. Even then, temperatures are only expected to fall to the normal range with highs around -13C and lows near -23C. But after 4 straight weeks of mild temperatures, you'll understand if people have forgotten what "normal" is. Until then, enjoy the nice balmy weather while it's here!


  1. Melita the warm spot as of 2 pm with 7.9C.. Gretna close behind at 7.6C.

  2. Latest long range discussions today from CPC have backed off on the degree of cooling over the Northern Plains and southern Prairies over the next week or two, due to models suggesting a persistence of a low amplitude zonal flow over North America. This would in effect maintain the coldest air in the Arctic, with only periodic intrusions of cold air over southern MB rather than a more sustained period of below normal temperatures. This makes sense considering the AO index remains positive. So although we'll cool off over the next few days, it doesn't appear that it will be sustained, or as intense as it could be. I think we'll have to wait for a clear weakening of the AO signal before we see a trend towards more sustained cold weather.

  3. Winter is ticking away pretty quickly. If that AO Index stays positive much longer we will start enjoying the more intense sunshine even if the temps start to fall. Rob I asked in the last post if the AO stays positive and keeps the cold air in the artic is that good for the artic then? Will that help recover the ice etc by keeping the cold air bottled up?

  4. Daryl.. I'm not an ice expert, but any prolonged period of cold in the Arctic should help to repair some of the melt damage that we're seeing.. but it would have to be sustained on the order of several years to really make a difference. The melting over the past 5 years has been so dramatic, I'm not sure a cold winter or two will reverse the downward trend.

  5. Time to break out the record books again tomorrow???

  6. Record high for Winnipeg today is +5.1C set in 1990.. so current forecast high of +6C is going for a new record. Will be interesting to see if YWG can get that high.. they seem to be struggling getting much above 4 or 5C with our bit of snow cover.

    Regardless, today will be our 7th day this month with highs above freezing.. quite the stretch. (although we have a ways to go to match 1942's record of 14 days with highs of 0C or more in January)