Sunday, March 22, 2015

Some wintery weather for the first week of spring..

After a spring like end to winter this year, old man winter will be making a return visit this week as a series of weather systems track across the southern Prairies and northern Plains states. The first system tonight is fairly weak, and is bringing some snow to southern Saskatchewan as of this (Sunday) evening. This area of snow will track across southwest Manitoba and the Riding Mtns tonight into the Red River valley overnight into Monday morning. Generally 2-4 cm of snow is possible with this disturbance, with a coating of 1-2 cm possible for Winnipeg overnight into Monday morning. Not a lot of snow.. but our first taste of the white stuff in over two weeks for the Monday morning commute.. so be prepared for it (roads in the city should just be wet rather than snow covered, but there could be some slippery sections, especially outside the city) 

Forecast probabilities of snowfall 10+ cm
Tuesday into Wednesday Mar 24-25th

Things get more interesting Tuesday into Wednesday as a stronger storm system tracks across Montana into North Dakota. This system is forecast to spread an area of heavier snow over southern Saskatchewan Tuesday which will be spreading into SW Manitoba, western Parklands and Interlake areas by Tuesday afternoon/evening. Temperatures will be warmer (above freezing) over Winnipeg and the RRV as well as SE Manitoba, so precipitation will likely begin as rainshowers later Tuesday before changing over to snow Tuesday night into Wednesday.  Snow is expected to continue much of Wednesday before tapering off Wednesday night. Snowfall amounts with this system will vary widely across southern MB, but at this time it appears the bulk of snow will be over the Riding Mtns and Interlake areas (possibly 10-20 cm) with lesser amounts over the RRV and SE MB (5-10 cm?). However, changes in the storm path and intensity could result in heavier amounts elsewhere. Stay tuned on this developing storm system as it brings a potentially significant snowfall over portions of southern Manitoba by mid week.

This photo montage from @JoshWright nicely chronicles
progression of snowcover in Winnipeg area over
the past couple of weeks

Storm snowfall update: (as of 9 am March 25th) 

Winnipeg ................ 5 cm
Portage La Prairie .... 5-10 cm
Brandon .................. 6 cm
Steinbach ................ 5 cm

Dauphin .............  15-25 cm
Rossburn ............. 20 cm
McCReary ........... 18 cm
Hodgson .............. 18 cm
Gilbert Plains ........ 15 cm
Neepawa ............. 15 cm
Roblin .................. 14 cm
Rivers ................... 10 cm
Miami ..................... 6 cm
Pinawa .................... 5 cm
Morris .................... 2 cm


  1. Thanks for this! (Shawn from Neepawa)

  2. A surprising 6 cm here in Charleswood as of 8 am this morning.. more than I was expecting for Winnipeg. Looks like general amounts of 3-7 cm over much of southern MB with this first shot.. which had some narrow bands of heavier convective snow that resulted in over-achieving amounts. A winter wonderland out there! Sloppy roads, but snow will be tapering off this morning, and with temps rising to above zero this afternoon, should be left with just wet roads today.

    As for Wednesday's system, models are beginning to trend towards heavier snow over southern SK/western MB/interlake.. with less over WInnipeg/RRV/SE MB with milder temps to start. Looks like rain changing to snow Wednesday for Winnipeg with 5 cm possible.. perhaps 10 cm if transition is early enough. Hopefully, we escape worst of it..

    1. For Winnipeg.. looks like rain will be changing over to snow sometime between 3 and 6 am Wednesday morning based on latest guidance.. then snow, possibly moderate to heavy at times Wednesday morning tapering off in the afternoon. Current Winnipeg forecast of "flurries" for Wednesday is underplaying expected conditions that day (automated forecast). Temperatures will also be dropping from early morning values just above freezing to below freezing by morning rush hour along with increasing north winds.. so be prepared for poor travelling conditions Wednesday, especially outside the city.

  3. Those winds look nasty for tomorrow for the RRV. With the heavy wet snow, and gusts from 70-80 km/h ,power outages could be a possibility tomorrow evening.

  4. Hey Rob,

    Just 2-4 cm now for Winnipeg?


    1. Tough call.. I think once we switch to snow around 3 or 4 am, it could come down pretty heavy for a few hours.. so we could pick up a quick 5 or 6 cm of heavy wet snow through the morning rush hour before it tapers off in the afternoon. Snow is accumulating pretty good to our north and west with snowfall rates of 2-3 cm/hr reported from some autostations like Dauphin, McCreary, Brandon and Fisher Branch. Dauphin may have seen rates as high as 6 cm/hr this evening although I don't think we'll see rates like that here. Nonetheless, we could get a pretty decent shot of snow just in time for rush hour.

  5. 5 cm of snow at my place as of 7 am. Heavy wet snow.. some blowing snow. Roads a mess.

    1. Is it really about the sun angle in March that we can get rid of 5 cm of snow in a afternoon as opposed to November where 5 cm would take a week to melt with the same temperature ???

    2. Absolutely! A late March sun is about the same strength as mid September. That will definitely help melt snow quicker..

  6. Hey Rob,

    Any April snow storms in the forecast? i know its an unusual question but I've heard from a couple people now that there is potential for another April snow storm.


    1. At this point, no major snowfalls expected for Winnipeg over the next week, but we'll be well below normal with temperatures at or below freezing much of the time. That means we can get a minor snowfall anytime over the next week as minor impulses move through. Hopefully we dodge any major systems before we warm up.. but definitely a bit of a setback in our spring like weather for the start of April!