Deep Freeze Continues

Bitterly cold Arctic air will remain entrenched over Southern Manitoba for the remainder of the week and through the weekend as nothing seems to be able to disrupt the pipeline of cold air flowing down over the Prairies. We will likely see some snow on Friday and Saturday as a low pressure system rides along the leading edge of a reinforcing shot of Arctic air which will ensure longevity to our December deep freeze.

Wednesday

-22°C / -28°C
Sunny and cold.
Thursday

-20°C / -27°C
Increasing cloud.
Friday

-23°C / -26°C
Cold with some light snow.

We’ll see sunny skies today with a light westerly wind as a ridge of high pressure slides to our south. The sunny skies are, unfortunately, symptomatic of the very cold air that will be in place today; our daytime high will only climb to around –22°C with wind chill values near –40 this morning that will ease slightly into the afternoon. We’ll drop to around –28°C tonight with just a few clouds.

Tomorrow will manage to climb a couple degrees higher than today with a high near or just under –20°C, largely thanks to the cloud coverage that will increase through the day. This may seem backwards since it would seem to make sense that blocking out the sun would make it cooler, however at this time of year the heat provided by the sun is so meagre that cloud coverage can often warm things up by both giving off some heat that works it’s way down to the ground as well as preventing any more heat from leaving the surface. In the winter time, think of cloud cover as a big blanket. Skies will be cloudy by the end of the day and light snow will begin to push into the province tonight beginning in the Parkland and spreading southeast through the night.

Friday

Friday will see light snow over much of Southern Manitoba as a mid-level baroclinic zone[1] tightens up over the region. At this point, it appears that most of the snow will fall to the west and south of Winnipeg, but we should still see some light snow along the northern edge of this system. Temperatures will remain cold; here in Winnipeg the daytime high is only expected to be around –23°C or so.

Total snowfall expected at this point for this coming Friday. Little of any significance is forecast to fall in the Red River Valley.
Total snowfall expected at this point for this coming Friday. Little of any significance is forecast to fall in the Red River Valley.

As shown above, no significant amounts are expected with this system as it moves through; a few cm are possible through the western and south-central Red River Valley while most other places just see a light dusting. The snow will taper off to some flurry activity in the evening as we drop to around –26°C under cloudy skies.

The Weekend

At this point, it looks like Saturday and Sunday both remain quite cold with daytime highs not even reaching –20°C and overnight lows plummeting towards –30°C. Flurries will be around for the first half of the day on Saturday before clearing out and leaving us with clear skies through the remainder of the day and Sunday. It appears some light snow is possible again on Monday as a warm front pushes across the Prairies. I’m not convinced quite yet that we’ll see that 10°C jump in daytime highs currently advertised, but significantly warmer air does look to be on the way (for a short while, at least) early next week.


  1. A baroclinic zone is an area of heightened temperature contrast; similar to a warm front or cold front but without the significant movement that those features have.  ↩
Brad

Brad

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 Twitter.