Friday, April 29, 2016

Beautiful weekend ahead.. dry weather to continue for the next week

Finally! A beautiful weekend to enjoy in southern Manitoba. Weekends in April have not been kind to Monday-Friday workers, with below normal temperatures and a washout weekend in mid April. But this weekend looks terrific to enjoy the outdoors and get that BBQ going.. plenty of sun and temperatures in the mid to upper teens, slightly above normal for the end of April (normal highs 15C).  And the good news is the dry weather should continue much of next week, with no major systems expected to impact southern Manitoba through next Friday. In addition, temperatures will be climbing into the mid 20s by the end of week, although there may be a brief cooldown mid week. The next threat of any meaningful rainfall over southern Manitoba looks to be over the weekend of May 7-8th as a storm system tracks across the Dakotas with showers and possible thunderstorms. It's still a week ahead though, and there's still considerable uncertainty on the track of this system and what impacts it will have on southern Manitoba. In the meantime.. enjoy the lovely dry weather!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Seasonably cool but dry week ahead.. stormier and wetter south of US border

Forecast precipitation Apr 23 - 30th (inches) shows dry
conditions over Manitoba but wet south of the US border
(image from NOAA -WPC)  
The last week of April is looking mainly rain-free across most of southern Manitoba as a blocking ridge of high pressure over northern Manitoba maintains cool but dry conditions across the province. Temperatures over southern Manitoba will be in the 10-13C range Sunday through Thursday.. which is just slightly below normal late April highs (14C)  But while we remain dry in southern Manitoba, it will be a different story south of the US border as a couple of strong storm system track across the central plains over the next few days.  On Sunday, a storm system will track across South Dakota spreading showers across North Dakota and northern Minnesota, with locally heavy rain possible.  The pressure gradient between high pressure over northern Manitoba and low pressure over South Dakota will result in a brisk easterly flow across southern Manitoba Sunday, with east to northeast winds of 40 gusting 60 km/h expected. Those winds will add a bit of a chill to an otherwise fairly nice day Sunday.

Severe weather risk map for Tuesday April 26th
shows severe storms possible through southern plains
(Weather Network graphic)  
Tuesday will see another storm system tracking a bit further south, across western Kansas, bringing a severe weather threat across the US "tornado alley" from northern Texas through Oklahoma into Kansas. In fact, the US Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman OK has already warned of a potential outbreak of severe storms Tuesday with violent tornadoes and large hail possible. Stay tuned on this developing system for early next week. The system will also spread additional rain across much of South Dakota, some of it locally heavy. The system is expected to push east into the Ohio Valley by mid week with high pressure continuing to dominate over Manitoba. The result will be a dry week here with seasonably cool temperatures gradually warming to normal or above normal values by the end of the week.  Overall, it looks like parts of North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota could see 25-50 mm of additional rainfall over the upcoming week.    

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A couple nice days.. then back below normal. April stuck in neutral here while western Canada bakes..

After a miserably wet and cool weekend that saw 30 to 50 mm of rain dumped on the Red River valley,  drier weather has returned to southern Manitoba this week with sunshine and temperatures above seasonal values. And it looks like we'll see one more warm day Wednesday before yet another change to cooler weather by Thursday which is expected to persist through the weekend into early next week.  Wednesday should see sunshine mixing with clouds and temperatures near 20C in the afternoon with a southwest breeze. A cold front however will slide through southern Manitoba from the north Wednesday evening/night bringing a drop in temperatures for Thursday.  Highs Thursday will struggle to reach 10C, some 10 degrees cooler than Wednesday's highs.    

On Friday, a weak system will track across southern Manitoba from the west bringing an area of light rain, possibly mixed with, uggh, wet snow Friday morning over western Manitoba. (Current forecasts of "sunny" weather Friday for the Red River valley are way too optimistic based on current model guidance. Don't be surprised to see that forecast change over the next day or two)

The weekend looks generally dry but cool as high pressure over northern Manitoba maintains a northeast flow of dry cool air across southern Manitoba. A developing storm system over the central US plains states threatens to bring some rain across southern Manitoba early next week but most guidance is suggesting this  area of precipitation will stay mainly south of the international border.  If so, that would mean generally dry weather next week along with near normal temperatures.  Sustained warmth however still appears to be delayed in arriving here as the upper flow keeps bringing spells of below normal temperatures over central and eastern Canada.                

Fire risk across Canada shows extreme
fire danger across western Canada (CBC image)
Meanwhile, it's a different story over western Canada which has been experiencing an exceptionally warm and dry spring after a warm dry winter. Yesterday saw over two dozen record highs set in Alberta including 26C in Edmonton, and a sizzling 29.4C in Grand Prairie which tied its all time April maximum set back in 1977.  Conditions have been extremely dry out west thanks to a persistent upper ridge over western North America. Calgary for example has seen only 0.6 mm precipitation this month, just 4% of normal and only 7.4 mm since Feb 1st (17% of normal). The dry conditions have led to an extreme fire risk across much of the province as well as parts of Saskatchewan. Hopefully, they get some much needed rain over the next few weeks otherwise forest and grass fires will become an increasing threat over the west.    

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Significant rains hit southern Manitoba

From Environment Canada:

Several waves of precipitation moving along a slow moving frontal 
system over the North Dakota/Minnesota border has resulted in 
significant precipitation amounts over southern Manitoba since 
Friday. In general, about 25-50 mm of rain has fallen across much of 
southern Manitoba from Friday through Sunday, with even some 
accumulating snow reported over southwestern Manitoba into the 
Riding Mountain area. 

The following are rainfall totals since midnight Friday up to 7 pm 
Sunday evening. Data is from Environment Canada and Manitoba 
agriculture weather stations. Rain continues this evening over the 
southern Red River valley and southeast Manitoba where an additional 
5 to 10 mm of rain is possible tonight. Elsewhere, no additional 
rainfall is expected. Rainfall amounts in millimeters (mm) 

Winnipeg Airport: 38 mm 
Winnipeg Forks: 42 mm 

Deerwood (Miami): 49 mm 
Selkirk: 47 mm 
Arborg: 44 mm 
Carman: 43 mm 
Gladstone: 43 mm 
Manitou: 43 mm 
Gimli: 43 mm 
Great Falls: 43 mm 
Beausejour: 42 mm 
McCreary: 40 mm (mixed with snow) 
Portage La Prairie: 40 mm 
Pinawa: 37 mm 
Inwood: 37 mm 
Pilot Mound: 35 mm 
Fisher Branch: 35 mm 
Morden: 32 mm 
Deloraine: 31 mm (mixed with snow) 
Killarney: 30 mm 
Wasagaming: 30 mm (mixed with snow) 
Dauphin: 29 mm (mixed with snow) 
Emerson: 28 mm 
Gretna: 28 mm 
Kleefeld: 26 mm 
Brandon: 25 mm (mixed with snow) 
Steinbach: 21 mm 
Morris: 19 mm 
Virden: 17 mm (mixed with snow) 
Sprague: 14 mm 

Precipitation fell as snow over parts of southwest Manitoba into the 
Riding Mountain Park area Saturday into early Sunday. Some snowfall 
reports are as follows: Snowfall amounts in centimeters (cm) 

McCreary: 9 cm 
Neepawa: 9 cm 
Wasagaming: 7 cm 
Oak River: 7 cm 
Rivers: 6 cm 
Waldersee: 6 cm (southeast of McCreary) 
Oak Lake: 5 cm 
Melita: 5 cm 
Souris: 2-5 cm (estimated) 
Boissevain: 4 cm 
Virden: 4 cm 
Brandon: 2 cm 
Austin: Trace

Monday, April 11, 2016

Warmer weather on the way this week.. but increasingly wet by late week

Warmer weather is finally on the way over southern Manitoba this week, but it looks like it will be getting progressively wetter later in the week as well. Significant rainfall is possible in some areas (possibly 25-50 mm) especially over SW Manitoba and the Interlake regions where cooler temperatures will prevail as well.  The details:

After a clear and cold night tonight, Tuesday will see increasing clouds and increasing southerly winds as well. Temperatures will begin climbing closer to normal values with afternoon highs near +6C in Winnipeg, but cloud cover and brisk southerly winds will make it feel cooler. Wednesday is looking like the nicest day of the week as we get into more sunshine and lighter winds, and temperatures into the low teens for the first time this month. On Thursday, a warm front pushing up from North Dakota will start spreading clouds and some scattered showers across southern MB, with increasing humidity and temperatures in the teens.

Friday will see a battle zone setting up over southern MB with
warm humid air to the south and cool air to the north. Areas of
heavy rain are expected along and north of the frontal zone
Things get even more interesting by Friday. On Friday, the warm front over North Dakota will push into southern Manitoba and stall somewhere from Pilot Mound through Winnipeg into the Pinawa area. This front will mark a battle zone across southern MB, delineating warm springlike conditions over the southern RRV and SE MB (where 20C temperatures are possible), from much wetter and cooler conditions north of the front (significant rain over SW MB into the interlake along with temperatures in the single digits). For Winnipeg and areas near the frontal boundary, the location of this front will have a major impact on temperatures and precipitation chances. If the front is north of Winnipeg, we'll see warmer temperatures and less rain. If the front is south of us, look for cooler temperatures and more rain. Models have been flip flopping on whether or not this front makes it north of Winnipeg but we're only talking about a few miles that can make a big difference. We'll keep you posted on how models trend with the position of this front as the week goes on. Suffice to say, Friday will see some significant rain across portions of southern MB (possibly even some embedded thunderstorms) while other areas (especially south and east of Winnipeg) see warmer temperatures possibly near 20C.  The unsettled weather will push across southern Manitoba Saturday with more showers, followed by drier and cooler conditions Sunday.   

Friday, April 08, 2016

Windy, cool, unsettled weekend.. then FINALLY!.. pattern change to warmer weather beginning next week

500 mb pattern so far in April has featured a stubborn
Arctic vortex and trof over Hudson Bay into Great Lakes
It's been a cold start to April across much of central and eastern North America with a persistent pattern of below normal temperatures and occasional snowfall since the beginning of the month. A stubborn Arctic vortex and long wave trof digging unseasonably deep into the eastern US has been responsible for the winter like start to April over southern MB and Ontario, while the western Prairies and west coast have basked under above normal warmth.  This pattern will remain in place over the weekend as another clipper system tracks through southern MB and reinforces cool air behind it, but there are finally signs that this stubborn pattern will be changing by the middle to end of next week bringing more seasonable, and even above seasonable temperatures to southern MB.

Surface prog valid Saturday evening shows next
clipper system tracking through interlake region
But first, we have to get through this weekend which will feature another clipper system tracking through southern MB bringing strong southerly winds and a chance of snow ahead of it on Saturday, some rain or snow Saturday night, then blustery and cool conditions Sunday. Model guidance is indicating this clipper system will track north of Winnipeg through the Interlake region this weekend, bringing heavier snow accumulations of 10 cm or more through the northern Interlake and central MB. Further south, Winnipeg/RRV will see a band of light snow moving through ahead of the system Saturday morning along with strong south to southeast winds gusting to 70 km/h by midday and afternoon. Temperatures will only struggle to +4C or so, still below normal for this time of year (normal highs now +8C) and feeling even cooler with those strong winds. As the clipper system tracks through the interlake Saturday night, scattered rain or snow showers are expected over southern MB with steadier snow through the northern interlake regions. On Sunday, blustery NW winds will bring in a reinforcing shot of below normal temperatures again over southern MB along with occasional flurries or snow, and afternoon temperatures only around +2C or so.

CPC outlook for Apr 14 -19 finally gives hope for
a return to warmer weather over southern MB
The good news is that this weekend storm system should finally be the last of the clipper systems for a while with a trend to warmer and more settled conditions next week. Below normal temperatures but dry conditions are expected over southern MB for Monday and Tuesday, but then a long awaited pattern change is expected to bring in warmer air by Wednesday with near seasonal temperatures, and even above normal temperatures in the mid to upper teens possible by the end of the week into next weekend.  So hang in there folks... warmer weather is on the way!