Friday, January 27, 2012

January 2012 on pace for 2nd or 3rd warmest January on record

Other than a few days of below normal weather during the third week of the month, January 2012 has been unseasonably mild over southern Manitoba, running some 7 degrees above normal to date (normal January monthly mean in Winnipeg is -17.8C) The month began with an exceptionally mild start averaging some 15C above normal over the first 10 days of the month, with temperatures soaring to record breaking values of +7C in Winnipeg on the 5th, and +12C over the western RRV. A mini cold snap between the 16th and 21st brought a spell of below normal temperatures in the minus 20s, but the cold snap was short lived as milder weather returned for the last 10 days of the month. As a result, Jan 2012 is on pace to finish with a mean monthly temperature around -10.8C, which would make it the third warmest January in Winnipeg since January records began in 1873. Only Jan 2006 (-7.4C) and Jan 1944 (-10.6C) have been milder in Winnipeg, with January 1942 currently the third warmest at -11.4C. In fact, if milder weather develops as predicted over the last couple of days of the month, January 2012 will challenge Jan 1944 as the second mildest January ever in Winnipeg. This comes off a mild December that was the 9th mildest on record finishing over 6C above normal. This January will also mark the 7th consecutive month of above normal temperatures in Winnipeg, going back to July 2011. And it looks like the above normal temperatures will continue into the beginning of February with well above normal temperatures likely to start the month. It's been quite the ride.. one wonders, how long will it continue?

For additional details on this winter's amazing warmth, see the latest entry from A Weather Moment ("What happened to winter?") (also includes introduction of a new model viewer as well!)


  1. I don't mind it at all being warm. I'm worried thought about our precip deficit, especially since almost every month since last May has been drier than normal, with the exception of September (16mm above normal) and October (whopping 6mm above normal). Sure we needed a break with all the flooding and what not but now we're entering into another extreme which is just as bad. A lot of people seem unaware of this impending potential disaster.

  2. After being so wet for so many years it will be nice to return to "normal" or slightly below normal precipitation. But with our luck it will switch to a full on drought followed by record rainfall and flooding the year after :)

  3. Great weather while it lasts
    Is this Warm Winter Weather phenomena one of several that succeed those nasty mid northern atlantic Ash cloud?
    Could Eldfell 1973 and Eyjaklllll 2010. be the culprits? Do I understand that Eylakllll is the first eruption since Eldfell to occur during a stable AO/NAO and produce excessive Ash Clouds over Europe.
    Weren't they also immediately followed by Record Rains and record Floods in the Eastern Cdn and US Upper midwest river basins, the following fall and spring
    I wonder if 12 months later the Super Tornado Outbreaks.are involved (the 2 greatest by any measurement are the April 74 and the Apr 2011.
    Last and best as far as we are concerned exactly 12 months later a string of 6 to 7 consecutive (almost)months of above average temps in Winnipeg.
    I wonder? Record Rains , Record Floods and Record Tornado Outbreaks 37 years and finally something good Hmmmm

  4. Today's updates from the CPC increase the probability of above normal temperatures for the next two weeks in S. MB. Below normal precipitation seems likely as well.

  5. Jim..

    I'm not an expert on the global climate impacts of volcanic eruptions, but it may be more of a coincidence than a cause. I think the extremes of the past few years is a signal of a continually warming climate affecting global circulation with greater amounts of heat and moisture becoming available for supercharged climatic events. (See Jeff Masters' latest blog entry about an "atmosphere on steroids")

    The volcanic ash may have enhanced effects of the already disrupted climatic oscillations, but I'm not sure that Icelandic volcanoes would impact weather extremes in North America (perhaps Europe). But again, I'm not an expert.

  6. I've added some new links onto my main page forecast section, showing graphical data for Winnipeg using actual GEM and GLB data (under "GRAPHS"). This is the same data used by EC's forecast office to prepare the official forecast. The graphs are created from a slick new website called "" that can create graphical data for any spot in the world using GEM global or regional data. Very nice output. The graphs are for Winnipeg and include a NOWCAST (showing past 6 hrs plus next 12 hours), 48 HR regional GEM output, and 6 day output out to 144 hrs. Raw model data is also available from the website. Check it out! For fans of the European graphical guidance from Norway, I've moved the link under "EURO" under the graphs line.

  7. Rob, thanks a lot mentioning Just a warning to everyone, a rapid increase in traffic is causing stability issues on the site. I'm in the process of upgrading to a new server and internet connection, but in the meantime there may be some hiccups in the next few weeks.

    After that, the next product to be published will be the Meteocode (detailed hour-by-hour public forecast). Then the NAM, GFS, ensembles, etc, etc. and all the actuals from MADIS for comparing the forecasts to reality.

    If anyone has suggestions or requests, feel free to ask. I just added the 925mb winds for a hot air balloonist in Quebec yesterday!


  8. Great stuff Garth. Not surprising you're getting a lot of traffic.. it's a very well designed site with excellent presentation of data in graphical format. Great to have EC's detailed met data presented in such a user-friendly and informative way. Looking forward to the upgrades! Keep up the great work!

  9. All you snow lovers rejoice!!! 2-4 cm of snow tonight. Might have to get the snowblower out for this one! HA!