The Deep Freeze Gives Way to A Mixed Weekend

While temperatures across the Red River Valley this morning are extremely cold, a developing series of major low pressure systems set to impact Alaska will be responsible for pushing us out of the deep freeze and back towards more seasonal temperatures for next week.

12hr. QPF valid Saturday at Noon

The GEM-REG is showing around 1–2cm of snow across the Red River Valley by midday on Saturday.


Sunny. Increasing cloud overnight.
-24°C / -28°C

Sunny skies will dominate the Red River Valley for most of the day today as we remain under the influence of the Arctic high. Entrenched in the cold air under this high, temperatures today will climb up to about –24°C; this is some 13°C below the “normal”[1] temperature for this time of year. The strong northwesterly flow aloft that’s brought our cold air back will begin to waver tonight as a weak disturbance ripples down the jet stream towards Southern Manitoba. An Alberta clipper will rush across the Prairies tonight, pushing clouds into Southern Manitoba through the overnight period and preventing our overnight lows from dropping to anywhere near where they bottomed out last night. Overnight lows will likely sit at around –27 or –28°C tonight through most of the Red River Valley.



About 2cm of light snow.
-16°C / -28°C

As the Alberta clipper pushes through on Saturday, a broad area of light snow will move through the Red River Valley. This system will be rather moisture-starved with only ¼ to ½” of precipitable water to it’s name, so snow will likely be light with SLRs of only around 15:1 (relatively crystalline snow). This will all combine to produce only 1–2cm of snow despite the fact that it will snow most of the day. Temperatures will warm up to around –15°C as a little bit of mild air pushes into the province with this system, but temperatures will plummet right back to where we were before as the clouds clear out fairly quickly on Saturday evening and we head to an overnight low of, again, around –28°C.


Mix of sun & cloud. Chance of flurries.
-20°C / -28°C

Skies will start off sunny on Sunday but another weak system tracking across southwestern Manitoba will spread some cloud into the Red River Valley midday. This disturbance will track through fairly quickly so we’ll likely see a chance of flurries (with better chances over southwestern Red River Valley) late in the morning into the early afternoon. The clouds will clear out by evening as we head to another cold night with temperatures dropping back to about –28°C. Heading into next week, the flow aloft begins to become significantly more zonal, allowing milder Pacific air to push further eastwards across the Prairies. Temperatures will generally be warmer but by exactly how much is still hard to tell. Ensemble predictions have moved from an above-normal temperature forecast next week into a more seasonal-looking pattern. Either way, we’ll certainly be leaving the temperatures we’ve seen over the past week behind for a while.

  1. It should probably be said that the “normal” temperature for late January in Winnipeg is most likely just an average of the extremes.  ↩


Brad lives in Winnipeg with his wife and two children and is the founder of A Weather Moment. He has loved weather from a very young age and has followed that passion through his life so far. He received a B.Sc. in Earth Sciences with Specialization in Atmospheric Sciences and is currently employed in the field of meteorology. You can find the author as WeatherInThePeg on Mastodon.

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