Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Snow likely for southern MB by Friday into the weekend.. but nothing like the Maritimes!

While the Maritimes digs out from its third major blizzard in a week (55+38+46 = 139 cm of snow in Moncton within the past 7 days!), residents of Winnipeg and southern Manitoba are beginning to forget what a snowstorm even looks like.  It's been over a month since Winnipeg's last major snowfall (12 cm Jan 2-3rd) and since then, snow has been meagre with a few minor snowfalls of 2 cm or less totalling 5 cm since then. In fact, there have been only 2 storm systems this winter in Winnipeg that have produced more than 5 cm of snow.. a 9 cm snowfall on Nov 28-29th, and the 12 cm snowfall Jan 2-3rd.  Other than that.. minor snowfalls now and then have brought our winter seasonal snowfall up to 46 cm as of the end of January.. some 26 cm below the average of 72 cm by Jan 31st (average seasonal snowfall in Winnipeg to May is 114 cm)  Last year we had accumulated 104 cm by the end of January with a total snowfall of 153 cm by the end of April. While the lack of snow has been great for travel and spring flooding concerns, it's turning into a major disappointment for storm lovers and outdoor enthusiasts such as snowmobiles and skiers who would like to see a deeper snowpack (current snowdepth is 12 cm vs 40 cm last year at this time).

So is there any snow in the forecast? Well, it appears that we may be seeing some new snowfall by the end of the week into the weekend as a couple of clipper systems track across the southern Prairies into the northern US plains. On Friday, an area of snow is expected to spread across southern MB as a system tracks across Montana into the Dakotas, with perhaps 2-5 cm for Winnipeg, and 5 cm or so over SW Manitoba. Another clipper will track across southern MB on Saturday with another 5 cm of snow or so possible. While these aren't major storm systems, they will likely result in poor travelling conditions once again after a month of almost snowfree conditions.

UPDATE: (Friday's first clipper system appears that it will just brush Winnipeg with a dusting to 2 cm, with up to 5 cm possible over SW Manitoba. Model guidance is now trending higher with snowfall amounts later Friday into Saturday with the next clipper system, now showing perhaps 10 cm or more possible for Winnipeg. Stay tuned on this developing situation.