Cleanup Continues With Cool and Cloudy Conditions

Southern Manitoba will continue to see plenty of cloud cover as the region continues to clean up after the historic winter storm last week.

Another low pressure system crossing the Prairies will keep Winnipeg locked under cloudy skies for the next few days. Between the lack of sun and the new snow pack covering the region, temperatures will stay well below seasonal averages. Over the next few days daytime highs will hover near 4°C while low dip to around freezing.

Winds won’t be much of an issue the next while, either. Light southerlies will persist today, switching to northerly on Tuesday as the low passes. Northwest winds of 20 to 30 km/h will develop for Tuesday, but a ridge of high pressure will bring light winds for Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Cooler daytime highs will occur over the fresh snowpack in southern Manitoba and North Dakota.
Cooler daytime highs will occur over the fresh snowpack in southern Manitoba and North Dakota.

The only notable weather will be as the low moves through tonight into Tuesday. A wintery mix of light precipitation will move through the Red River Valley overnight, leaving behind a chance of scattered rain showers or flurries for Tuesday. Accumulations will generally be light with 1 to 3 mm for most areas, but a narrow band of 5 to 10 mm may develop along the low track. The heaviest precipitation will remain south of Winnipeg, but whether it occurs in southern Manitoba versus North Dakota is still questionable.

Long Range Outlook

The sun will attempt to reappear in the latter half of the week as warmer air pushes eastwards across the Prairies. Exactly how warm temperatures are able to climb will depend on how much snow remains on the ground. More snow will mean temperatures stay locked into the low single digits. For any areas that are able to eliminate much of the snow pack, highs could climb into the low teens.

No precipitation is expected through the latter half of the week.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is 11°C while the seasonal overnight low is 0°C.

Major Winter Storm Hammers Southern Manitoba

A Colorado Low is bringing a major early-season winter storm to southern Manitoba that ranges from rain to a crippling blizzard.

Because the storm is ongoing and long-lasting, we are not issuing a standard forecast today. This is a complex and dynamic system that requires constant monitoring as the snow/rain line wiggles around the region. We strongly encourage you check your local weather forecast from ECCC and the weather warnings in your area.

As a general overview, a Colorado Low will gradually move into southeastern Manitoba today. Waves of rain will spread westwards, transitioning into moderate to heavy snow over the Red River Valley and areas west. Storm total snowfall will range from a trace all the way up to in excess of 50 cm. The most snow will fall in upslope areas of the Turtle Mountains, Riding Mountains, and the western escarpment of the Red River Valley. The snow that is falling will be wet, heavy snow, resulting in significant snow loading on trees and infrastructure.

Complicating matters will be strong north-northwest winds with widespread gusts in the 70 to 90 km/h range. These strong winds, combined with the heavy snow, will produce poor visibilities and an elevated risk of damage to trees an infrastructure. Over 23,000 people were without power on Thursday evening and the widespread power outages will likely continue today as well.

Heavy snow will continue over southern Manitoba today with the hardest hit areas extending from the western Red River Valley region southwards into eastern North Dakota.

The storm will gradually ease across the region on Saturday, leaving just a few flurries or showers for Sunday.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is 12°C while the seasonal overnight low is +1°C.

Major Winter Storm Set to Hit Southern Manitoba, North Dakota

A potent Colorado low will bring the first blast of winter to southern Manitoba in the form of a high-impact storm.

A developing Colorado Low will spread several waves of precipitation across southern Manitoba over the next few days. It all begins later today as light rain moves into the Red River Valley from the west.1 The rain will weaken overnight, but the next wave of precipitation will surge northwards early Thursday. This will fall as rain over SE Manitoba and change to snow across the Red River Valley. For many areas, it likely means a winter mix through the day.

Forecast precipitation amounts are high, with 15 to 25 mm forecast for the region. Any areas that see more of this as snow than rain could end up with a good 10 to 15 cm of wet, heavy snow by the end of the day. In Winnipeg, it looks likely that the city will see a mix of rain and snow through much of the day, changing to snow at night.

Another wave of precipitation will move through on Friday, bringing more rain and snow to the region. Another 15 to 30 mm is possible Thursday night through Friday, bringing storm-total precipitation into the 30 to 50 mm range.

Regardless of what form it takes, a lot more water is on the way for southern Manitoba.
Regardless of what form it takes, a lot more water is on the way for southern Manitoba.

Where exactly the transition from snow to rain occurs will need to be determined as the event itself develops, but we feel this is the most likely outcome. Different areas will see varying amounts of snow and snow accumulation based on where that line sets up. In the hardest hit areas, snowfall in excess of 25 cm may be possible. As mentioned before, the snow will be heavy and wet. Other areas may see upwards of 50 mm of rain. No matter how it falls, a lot more water is on the way for southern Manitoba.

Follow our twitter account for short-form updates as this system develops. If you are travelling in the coming days, know that the weather will be similarly poor across eastern North Dakota and adverse to dangerous driving conditions may develop.

In addition the precipitation, this storm will bring strong northerly winds and cool temperatures.

The cooler air will surge into the region today, sending temperatures falling to +4°C by the end of the afternoon. As the precipitation moves in tonight, temperatures should fall further to around +1°C by Thursday morning. Through the rest of the work week, temperatures will hover within a degree or two of the 0°C mark.

Winds will pick up out of the north into the 30 to 40 km/h range today, then strengthen to 40 gusting 60 km/h on Thursday. On Friday, winds may reach 50 gusting 70 km/h in some areas, especially in the lee of the lakes. In areas where these strong winds can combine with snow, visibilities will be severely restricted and the winds may produce damage add stress above and beyond the heavy loading from the wet snow.

One of the larger areas of uncertainty is on Friday. Forecast models diverge on where exactly the low centre goes, and some are bringing it relatively far west into southeastern Manitoba. If that occurred, it would be likely that Winnipeg, the eastern Red River Valley, and the southeastern corner of the province would be spared from much of the precipitation. We’ll be keeping an eye on things to see how they develop.

Long Range Outlook

A wintery mix of precipitation will likely persist through much of Saturday, tapering off to a chance of showers or flurries on Sunday. Temperatures will remain cool with highs of just 2 or 3°C and lows near +1°C. No significant precipitation is forecast into next week, although temperatures will remain well below seasonal values right into the end of the work week.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is 12°C while the seasonal overnight low is 1°C.

  1. West of the Red River Valley, it will fall as snow instead.

Mild Start to Week Turns Unpleasant

Winnipeg will enjoy two mild days before what may be a significant winter storm moves into the province.

Winnipeg will enjoy seasonable warmth over the next couple days. An upper level ridge moving across the region will usher in southerly winds and warmer weather. Both today and tomorrow will see highs climb towards 20°C with southerly winds of 20 to 30 km/h. The city should see plenty of sunshine both days and seasonably mild overnight lows.

Seasonably mild temperatures will be in place over southern Manitoba on Tuesday while a sharp cold front pushes towards the region.
Seasonably mild temperatures will be in place over southern Manitoba on Tuesday while a sharp cold front pushes towards the region.

Unfortunately, a significant change in the weather is on the way for Wednesday. A potent low pressure system tracking through the Northwest Territories will combine with a deepening long-wave trough to send a cold front surging southeastwards across the Prairies. It will push into southern Manitoba on Wednesday, bringing much cooler temperatures and cloudy skies. Winds will strengthen to 30 gusting 50 km/h out of the north and the entire region will see a chance of showers.

While the Red River Valley may see rain showers on Wednesday, snow will likely push into southwestern Manitoba and the Interlake region.
While the Red River Valley may see rain showers on Wednesday, snow will likely push into southwestern Manitoba and the Interlake region.

The precipitation will organize on Wednesday night with heavier bands lifting northeastwards out of the Dakotas. There’s some uncertainty right now, but it’s possible that the rain mixes or changes over to snow sometime Wednesday night.

Long Range Outlook

Before anything else: there is still significant uncertainty with how the weather will develop later this week. With that said, southern Manitoba may see a multi-day winter storm on Thursday through Saturday. A potent Colorado Low will begin lifting northeastwards on Thursday, spreading moderate to heavy precipitation into the region. While this happens, northerly winds will strengthen and sustain a feed of cold Arctic air into the region. As the low reaches Lake of the Woods on Friday, it is forecast to stall out for 24 to 48 hours. This will result in bands of precipitation back into southern Manitoba, gradually changing to snow.

Exactly how much precipitation the region sees and what it falls at is uncertain; there’s a lot of ways this forecast can change between now and then. If this ends up on the snowier side, it could end up being a fairly major snowfall with at least 20 to 30 cm of the white stuff. Persistent rainfall may reduce snowfall amounts in some areas. But more rain isn’t exactly a desirable thing for a region whose rivers are already swollen with excess rainfall over the past month. This system could easily produce another 25 to 50 mm over the region which, if falling as rain, would quickly find its way into the river and aggravate overland flooding issues that exist in areas of the province.

We’ll be keeping an eye on this system as it develops and have more details in our Wednesday morning forecast.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is 13°C while the seasonal overnight low is +2°C.