Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Updated Rob's Obs snowfall stats

Updated Rob's Obs snowfall stats
Winter of 2012/13 
(as of Feb 27 2013)

February 2013 snowfall ..........  8.6 cm
Normal Feb snowfall .............. 14.2 cm
(1971-2000 normal - YWG airport)
Snowdepth as of Feb 27th .......  38 cm 

Seasonal snowfall to date:  Oct 1 2012 - Feb 27 2013

Total ..................................... 123.8 cm 
Normal (to end of Feb)..........   83.5 cm
Difference ............................. +40.3 cm (148% of normal) 
Normal winter snowfall .......... 110 cm  (1971-2000 normal - YWG airport)

2012-13 monthly snowfall summary (cm)

Month ............. snowfall .......... normal ..... difference 

OCT .................   3.2 ................ 5.0 ............ -   1.8    
NOV ................. 39.8 ............... 21.4 ........... + 18.4
DEC ................. 32.0 ..............  19.8 ........... + 12.2
JAN ..................  40.2 ..............  23.1 ........... + 17.1
FEB .................    8.6 ..............  14.2 ........... -    5.6

TOTAL ............123.8 .............   83.5 ........... + 40.3

NOTE: These snowfall observations are taken from my site in Charleswood, and do not necessarily reflect amounts for other parts of the city, including the Winnipeg airport. The airport no longer takes official snowfall measurements (one of the few major airports in Canada that doesn't) , and thus, the above snowfall statistics are considered official snowfall observations for Winnipeg.  I take volunteer snowfall measurements for Environment Canada at my climate station officially listed as Charleswood 2.  Station in operation since Nov 2004.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Staying nice and mild this week..

Dry and mild conditions have spread into southern MB with afternoon temperatures approaching the freezing mark in Winnipeg, and even some above freezing readings over parts of southern MB. The pleasant weather is forecast to continue much of the week with highs in the zero to minus 5 range and little in the way of precipitation forecast. The increasing daylight and strengthening sun is finally making it feel more like spring out there.. after what has been a long and fairly gloomy winter.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cold start to the day.. temperatures moderating this week

It's a cold start to the day this morning across the Red River valley with early morning temperatures near or below the minus 30C mark. Winnipeg airport was sitting at -28C at 5 am while the coldest reading of -34C was found in Pinawa. Luckily, winds are light this morning so wind chills are not significant. Temperatures will rise into the mid minus teens today under partly sunny skies, with more moderate temperatures near minus 10C for Thursday and Friday.  The good news is that temperatures will continue to climb over the weekend into next week with temperatures near or slightly above the normal high of -7C for this time of year.  In addition, conditions look fairly dry over the next few days, with no major systems affecting southern Manitoba with strong winds or significant precipitation. So we'll have to put up with one more day of cold weather today... then things are looking up! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Clipper system to bring snow and blowing snow over Red River valley Sunday night into Monday

An Alberta clipper system is forecast to track across southern Manitoba Sunday into Sunday night bringing a variety of weather conditions to the Red River Valley over the next 24 to 48 hours. In advance of the system Sunday, southerly winds will spread in milder air over the Red River valley with temperatures rising towards the freezing mark, along with a risk of ice pellets or freezing rain. As the system tracks east of Winnipeg Sunday evening, winds will shift into the north drawing in colder air with periods of snow developing Sunday night. In general, about 5 cm of snow is expected for Winnipeg Sunday night into Monday morning although up to 10 cm is possible if more persistent snow bands set up across the city.  Of greater concern will be the increasing northerly winds Sunday night into Monday morning with gusts to 60 or 70 km/h expected, giving poor visibilities in snow and blowing snow throughout the Red River valley.  Prepare for poor highway conditions Monday if you plan to travel. Conditions are expected to improve Monday afternoon into Monday evening as winds subside. The northerly winds will also be bringing in colder air Monday with temperatures falling into the mid minus teens and wind chills in the minus 20s. Sunny and cold but calmer weather is expected Tuesday into Thursday.   

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Variable pattern ahead..

The weather over the next week or so will be characterized by a variable and generally dry pattern, with alternating spells of above and below normal temperatures. Pleasantly mild conditions today and Wednesday and will drop to below normal temperatures by Thursday behind a weak clipper passing to the southwest of Manitoba. Dry and seasonably cold, but not abnormally cold, conditions are expected Thursday and Friday before another warmup over the weekend, albeit accompanied by brisk southerly winds Saturday. Colder weather is forecast to follow early next week. At this point, generally dry weather with no significant snowfall is expected over southern Manitoba over the next week or so, although there may be some light snowfalls from time to time as we transition from one airmass to another.  

Friday, February 08, 2013

Winter storm system threatens southern RRV and SE MB Sunday..

Multi-model ensemble image
showing predicted snowfall
amounts up to Monday morning
with weekend system
A Colorado low storm system is forecast to track across the central US plains this weekend, bringing a swath of heavy snow and strong winds over portions of North Dakota and Minnesota Sunday into Monday. At this point, it appears the worst of the storm will be mainly south of the US border and into NW Ontario as the storm tracks towards Lake Superior, but portions of southern MB especially towards the US and Ontario borders may be impacted by this system later Sunday.  Note that the US National Weather Service in Grand Forks has issued winter storm and blizzard watches for eastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota in advance of this storm system. People planning on travel to the US or NW Ontario should monitor the progress of this storm which may impact highway travel later Sunday, including I-29 in North Dakota and Hwy 59 in NW Minnesota. Winnipeg and the northern RRV should be on the outer fringes of this system, with a dusting to 3 cm possible along with gusty north winds giving occasional blowing and drifting snow in open areas.

UPDATE: 8 am Sunday - Winter storm warning in effect for Grand Forks and northern Minnesota up to Canadian border. Blizzard warning for Fargo area. Snow has spread up to Grand Forks this morning, and will become heavier this afternoon into tonight with increasing winds giving blowing and drifting snow. Bulk of snow should remain south of the US border but 5 cm or so possible for extreme southeast MB this afternoon into tonight.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

A break from the cold this week.. but more snow on the way..

A welcome break from the cold of the past couple of weeks will be on the way this week as a persistent Arctic airmass over southern MB eases its grip.  As a result, temperatures will be rising to more normal values for this time of year, with highs around minus 10C much of the upcoming week, as opposed to the frigid minus 20 and minus 30 readings of the past little while. In its place will be a moderating flow of air from the west which will be characterized by occasional clipper systems passing through southern Manitoba this week, each bringing a round of snow. The first clipper is expected Monday, with snow arriving in Winnipeg and the RRV sometime in the afternoon and lasting into the evening. About 2-5 cm is possible with this system which will likely impact the Monday drive home. The next clipper is forecast for Wednesday with another 5 cm possible, with higher amounts of 5-10 cm predicted by some models. Additional flurry activity is possible by the weekend along with a push of milder air that will likely give us a period of above normal temperatures for a few days.

JANUARY 2013 stats:   January 2013 ended up with a mean monthly temperature of -16.7C at YWG airport, just slightly (0.3C) below the 1981-2010 January normal of -16.4C. A mild start to the month boosted the overall average that compensated for a very cold finish. In fact, the month was actually 1.1C ABOVE normal if the older 1971-2000 normals were used (January mean of -17.8C) This shows how mild Januarys have become over the past decade or so. Snowfall in January (as measured at my station) was 40.2 cm, bringing the seasonal total to 115 cm though January 31st. Normal seasonal snowfall for Winnipeg is 110 cm.  Last year, we had a total snowfall of 80 cm for the entire winter.