Cool Weather Breaks Records

Temperatures will remain well below normal this week in the wake of Monday’s snowstorm. Far from the 45cm of snow that fell in Bismark, only 5-10cm fell across Southern Manitoba while strong northerly winds coupled with near-0°C temperatures to spare no expense in turning highways into sheets of slush and ice. Unfortunately it looks like the cool weather reinforced by this system isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Snowfall Totals from Monday’s Storm

City Snowfall (cm)
Winnipeg 7.8
Oakbank 8.6
St. Alphonse 8.4
Miami 10.0
Winkler 12.0

Record Cool

As mentioned above, the cool weather is here for a while yet. A stable atmospheric structure called a high over low (or Rex) block has developed off the west coast of North America. This feature will produce persistant ridging over the Eastern Pacific which will in turn produce relatively persisitant troughing over western North America. This persistant troughing will tend to keep the storm track to our south and any warmer air shunted off towards the eastern half of the continent. The feature is expected to weaken towards the end of the week, but not enough to truly break down the rather stationary pattern. While troughs will weaken periodically over the next week, the general trend will be to reinforce and redevelop them instead of bringing any significant ridging onshore.

NAEFS 8-14 Day Temperature Outlook issued April 17, 2013 at 00Z

NAEFS 8-14 Day Temperature Outlook issued April 17, 2013 at 00Z.

The above image is the 8-14 Day Temperature Anomoly outlook from the NAEFS1; it’s an “at a glance” product that tells you whether the models think that it will warmer or cooler than normal next week2. As you can plainly see, a wide swath of cooler than normal temperatures is expected over much of the center of the continent.

Unfortunately, this is compounding on an already exceptionally long winter. Rob, over at Rob’s Blog, put together a plethora of interesting statistics about this spring:

[…] Today was the 36th consecutive day below normal in Winnipeg (March 9th was the last day above normal) and it appears that below-normal tmeperatures will continue into next week. […] With no prospect for +5°C the rest of the week, this year will mark the latest date in 141 years that Winnipeg has reached it’s first +5°C of the year (record back to 1872). The previous record latest date was April 15th 1950 (the year of the historic Red River flood).

Rob’s Blog

Rob rubs salt in the wounds a little more by reminding us that on average Winnipeg sees at least 15 days with highs above 5°C and sees on average at least 10 days with highs above 10°C. It’s an excellent read on the stats for this spring and I recommend you go check it out.

Long-range models continue to pepper us with hope in the long, long range. There is growing consensus on a pattern break-down by the end of the month with temperatures beginning to warm in earnest through the start of May. That could just be the fact this cold air can only fight against the increasingly strong sun for so long.

This Week


2°C / -9°C
Cloudy; gradual clearing.

2°C / -8°C
Mainly sunny.

2°C / -8°C

The weather through the rest of this week will be uneventful. The main storm track will remain well to our south, bringing severe thunderstorms to portions of the Southern Plains and more snow to the Dakotas. We’ll see cloudy skies today as overruning cloud pushes into Southern Manitoba from the system psuhing through the Dakotas with some flurry activity over Southern Manitoba. For the most part, the snow should stay out of Winnipeg while skies gradually clear through the evening and overnight period and we’ll be left with mainly sunny skies for Thursday and Friday as another Arctic ridge pushes into the Prairies. Daytime highs will remain steady near 2°C and overnight lows will be near -8 or -9°C.

Looking towards the weekend, it looks like we’ll see more of the same temperature-wise, and a chance for some light snow as a weak low pressure system moves across the Prairies. At this point it does not look like this system will bring any significant accumulations with it.

  1. North American Ensemble Forecast System 
  2. A Day 1-7 outlook would be for the coming week, Days 8-14 would be the week after. 


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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