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.


  1. Rob it seems that time after time these storms have consistently tracked over the same area (NW Minnesota). Our November and January storms were exactly like this scenario, in fact this seems to happens a lot in the summer too. Why is that?

  2. Models coming in line this morning on Sunday system.. looks like a miss for Winnipeg, with snow just brushing far SE MB. Could see some snow and blowing snow near US and Ontario borders, but worst of it should stay south of the border.

    Anonymous.. that storm track is a favoured track for systems that develop in the southern Rockies (e.g. Colorado). The upper flow (jet stream) will steer them across KS/NE into Minnesota then Northern Ontario. Depending on the strength of the upper trof to the west, the storm will either track over eastern MN/WI (more progressive weaker system), or more westerly over western MN (usually sign of a more intense system) The most favoured track to impact Winnipeg/RRV with heavy precip would be a track between Lake of the Woods and International Falls.

  3. Epic snowfalls over southern New England this morning. Over 3 FEET of snow being reported in central Connecticut.. with widespread amounts of 1-2 feet across MA/CT/LI.. coupled with wind gusts of over 60 mph along the coast. Insane storm out there impacting Nova Scotia today.

  4. Can't really speak for others but myself, i have no problem with this storm missing us tomorrow....I think we've seen enough snow this season.

    I am certainly very much looking forward to Spring at this point but we still have a fair amount of winter left unfortunately. Perhaps we will get lucky like last year and Spring will arrive early. I wouldn't bet on it but it would be nice.

    Looking at latest indications going forward, it certainly does not look like an early spring is in the works but as we all know things can change quickly.

  5. Yeah, I'm pretty tired of this winter as well. At least we have increasing daylight and stronger sunshine to look forward to now ( when we do get some sun!). But it's very unlikely that we'll see an early spring like last year... way too much snow cover over most of the Prairies and northern Plains, compared to last year. I just hope it doesn't linger into late April!

  6. Yeah, I certainly hope not either. I hope i'm wrong, but I just got this feeling that this Spring will get off to a slow start mainly because of the higher than average snowcover which as Rob mentioned is very widespread across the prairies and northern plains.

    In fact looking at the latest long range model output, actually do favor a below normal pattern from mid February to April mainly due to a -AO and higher than average snowpack. I hope this doesn't turn out to be the case.

  7. Blizzard warning for Fargo area.. and winter storm warning for NW Minnesota. NWS still undecided about GFK as they will be on the northern edge of heaviest snow. All guidance pretty clear now that this will be a miss for southern MB with snow remaining mainly south of the border, perhaps clipping Sprague area.

  8. 25" (63 cm) for Boston Logan airport from yesterday's blizzard.. officially Boston's 5th heaviest snowfall on record.

    It's nice to put these storms into historical perspective.. which is what you can do if you maintain a snow observing program at a station for a long period of time.

    Unfortunately, Winnipeg airport doesn't take snowfall measurements any longer, so how do you rank future snowstorms for Winnipeg when you don't take the data any more? Or even rank monthly or seasonal snowfall? You can look at nearby snowfall data (such as my site) but that will never replace the official snowfall records for Winnipeg airport, which had consistent data back to 1938 (and city data back to 1872)

  9. Hey Folk's thought I'd let you know that I have named the storm that was supposed to affect us today "Classico"! For Classic Colorado as it is a textbook Colorado Low. What do you all think of naming storms throughout the year for the province? Is it a good idea? I might continue doing so throughout the rest of the year, to make storms easier to follow, make it noteworthy in terms of news and for fun.

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  11. Monday's forecast high:

    CBC MB: -4 C
    TWN: -9 C
    EC: -10 C
    WUnderground: -10 C

    NAM: -9 C
    EURO: -10 C
    GEM-GLB: 10 C
    GEM-REG: -11 C
    GFS: -13 C

  12. I'm curious to know what model CBC uses to update its forecast during the weekend when John is not there to update. That -4°C is just out of the ball park..

  13. I'm curious too. John says he often has to tweak the model output, which is understandable if that's the number before tweaking. He has mentioned GFS and Ensemble (which one?) before, but that -4C wasn't either. Likely it's using a custom WRF model by WSI (the weather graphics software company).

  14. Hey Rpb what does it look like for Wednesday. I see EC is calling for 40% chance of flurries but TWN is calling 2-4cm and Accuweather is calling for 5-10cm.

  15. Daryl. If you look at the actual detail for Wednesday on Accuweather, they call for 5.1 cm of snow, but then only a 50-60% chance. In general, the American models are calling for around that amount, while the Canadian ones have less.

  16. You have to go well into central MN to see higher snowfall amounts from yesterday's storm. The brunt of it missed us by a fair margin.

  17. Daryl..

    Wednesday has a weak clipper tracking from central SK into North Dakota, bringing a swath of snow mainly to the west and south of Winnipeg where 2-5 cm is possible. Most of the guidance keeps the bulk of the snow outside of Winnipeg with perhaps a dusting for us here in the city. The NAM has been the most aggressive with amounts for Winnipeg (which drives AccuWeather forecasts) but it too has been trending down the last run or two. The European models are showing nothing for us, so I would lean towards little or no snow for Winnipeg tomorrow.. with a more general snow falling to our south and west.