Friday, March 25, 2016

The week ahead: Generally mild and pleasant before possible mid week storm system. Long range models indicating unseasonably cold start to April

Weather highlights for upcoming week... (Fri March 25 to Fri April 1st)

Cold night ahead! Clear and cold tonight with lows dropping to -15C in Winnipeg by early Saturday morning.. possibly some -20C readings north of the city.

Nice Saturday.. After a chilly start, ample sunshine will boost temperatures up to 0C by afternoon with light winds in the morning becoming south 20 km/h in the afternoon.

Saturday night into early Sunday.. weak system passing through southern Manitoba may bring a dusting of snow to Winnipeg and the RRV.

Easter Sunday: Nice day. Early flurries giving way to sunshine. Afternoon highs of +5C.

Monday, Tuesday: Dry and mild. Highs of +7 to +10C.

Wednesday Mar 30: Storm system tracking through the Dakotas will bring an area of rain and snow across the Dakotas, possibly spreading into southern Manitoba. At this point, it appears bulk of precip will be over North Dakota, however some models (like the GFS) are bringing more significant precipitation into southern Manitoba, with possible snow accumulations. Will need to watch this system closely and see if models trend further north.

Thursday: Dry and seasonable: Highs near +5C (however, temperatures will be cooler if we get snow from Wednesday system)

Friday April 1: Mother Nature is gearing up for one of her cruel April fools jokes. Clipper system expected to track across southern Manitoba bringing an area of rain and wet snow with it. System will drag a cold front through southern Manitoba by Friday night, ushering in an unseasonably cold outbreak for the first weekend of April. Highs on Saturday and Sunday may only be around the -10C mark, with lows of -15 to -20C possible. (normal highs for early April are near +5C, with lows of -6C)  Below normal temperatures are expected into the first week of April before a moderating trend later in the week.


  1. Latest guidance showing mid week weather system should mainly miss southern MB, with bulk of precip spreading across North Dakota Tuesday night into Wed morning. Mostly rain at first changing to snow overnight. SE MB may get clipped, but at this point, looks like mainly a miss for Winnipeg/RRV.

    Looking further ahead, that cold snap next weekend looking brutal, especially Saturday.. temps of -10C with strong north winds giving wind chills of -20 to -25. Just an awful day for early April. Luckily, it looks short lived as cold core pushes into Ontario fairly quickly, and we start rebounding Sunday into Monday. So thankfully, looks like more of a quick cold shot than anything sustained.

  2. Whatever happened to the idea that this would be a warmer than normal Spring? The beginning of April is shaping up to be worse than anything we saw in that cold April of 2013.

    1. At least we've lost our snowcover this year. April 2013 didn't lose winter snowcover until the 26th! No double digit temps until then either! I'll take a couple cold days in early April over snowcover until the last week of April anyday. Without snowcover, it makes it much easier to get warmer air to surface.

      Thankfully, the upcoming cold snap next weekend looks short lived.. Saturday will be the coldest day then we quickly rebound by Monday.

  3. The fact that it's gonna be that cold without snowcover makes you wonder just how much colder it would be with snowcover. Although it will rebound quickly there still appears to be no major warmups in sight through the 1st half of April. So could our run of above normal temps since September come to an end in April, it could be, we'll see. By the way 850 mb temps of -20 C or so likely for Saturday. That's one thing in January but for April, wow. That's not typically what would come to expect from what supposedley is " a warmer Spring".

  4. Models starting to back off on depth of cold for this weekend over southern MB.. look to be taking coldest core over Ontario with a glancing blow for southern Manitoba as opposed to a full blown smackdown. Still a below normal weekend, but not looking as cold as initially advertised.

    But as noted above, still doesn't look like any sustained warmup for the first part of April. A couple clippers tracking across southern Manitoba during first week of April may bring occasional shots of snow (first one possible Monday) with temperatures remaining below normal much of the week.

  5. Yes, considerable doubt as to the strength of that much hyped cold snap. The once bullish GFS has now wimped out.. showing afternoon highs of around -2/-3 C for the weekend. GEM Global is still colder, but at least one of the ensemble members of the GEPS has been very consistently higher.. implying at least the potential for a considerably warmer solution. This is consistent with expected moderation of such a cold air mass this time of year given the lack of an existing snowpack. As for the Colorado Low mid-week: global models show as being brushed by a mix or rain and snow, while higher resolution models keep precipitation generally south.

    Regarding spring being below normal: the climatological spring period runs from March through May. I assume that March will likely end up above normal (although I haven't done the number-crunching), with a relatively brief cold spell to begin April. We do not know what will happen with a high degree of confidence afterwards, but given that our seasonal snowpack is gone, and the topsoil is gradually warming - we should be buffered against any prolonged cold spells or below normal temperatures in the transitional period (particularly April).