In Like A Lion

March will be coming in like a lion as one of the coldest winters in our lifetimes continues on with no end in sight. Some of the coldest temperatures of the season are poised to return as yet another reinforcing blast of Arctic air slumps southwards over the region.

-19°C / -35°C
Flurries ending midday then clearing and windy.

-25°C / -32°C
Sunny & cold.

-22°C / -30°C

Flurries Give Way to Deep Freeze

A weak inverted trough moving through Southern Manitoba this morning is spreading flurries across the entire region. The remainder of the snow and cloud will clear out midday as we head to a daytime high of -19°C. Unfortunately, the clearing skies are symptomatic of a brutal blast of Arctic air slumping southwards that will bring us yet another night with overnight lows dipping towards the -35°C range.

850mb temperatures show clearly the next lobe of very cold air slumping into the Southern Prairies.
850mb temperatures show the next lobe of very cold air slumping into the Southern Prairies.

As we move onto the backside of the inverted trough this afternoon, strong northerly winds will move into the region – increasing to 30-40km/h with gusts to 60km/h – and produce localized blowing snow throughout the entire Red River Valley. The situation will resemble the clearing and strong winds we received on Wednesday, however today won’t be as intense as that event.

Winds will taper off this evening alongside our plummeting temperatures as another Arctic ridge of high pressure makes its way into the region. This ridge of high pressure will be driven by a lobe of extremely cold air aloft rotating southwards over the Prairies. Temperatures at 700mb through the core of the cold air is forecast to be in the -35 to -40°C range which puts it as the coldest air in the entirety of the northern hemisphere. This extremely cold air will push our overnight low to around -35°C and combine with winds that will remain around 15km/h to produce extreme wind chill values in the -45 to -50 range.

Sunny and Cold Weekend

Conditions through the rest of the weekend will be benign and cold. Mainly sunny skies will dominate with winds generally between 15-25km/h. Saturday’s daytime high of -25°C will be some 20°C below the seasonal daytime high for this time of year. Sunday will warm to around -21 or -22°C for a daytime high, still well below normal. Overnight lows will dip just below -30°C both nights.

Cold Weather Continues

Unseasonably cold weather will continue through the next week as temperatures very slowly warm. By the end of next week temperatures look to climb back to around -10°C with the chance for a couple of shots of snow through the second half of the week.

The NAEFS 8-14 Day Temperature Outlook
The NAEFS 8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

It does look like this miserable pattern begins to break down next weekend into the following week, allowing more seasonal air to push back into our region. The NAEFS 8-14 day temperature outlook is also picking up on the pattern change and finally showing a return to seasonal temperatures.

So be brave; we only need to make it one more week and what is almost surely the last extreme cold snap of the season will be past. This winter has been brutal and will easily sit in the top 3 coldest winters of the last 100 years. Lets all hope that we can shift into a steadier mild pattern through mid-March and start getting rid of this snow.



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.