Winter’s On The Way

The (seasonally) gorgeous weather we’ve been having to start off November will be coming to an end this weekend as a pool of cold air that’s been dammed up north of 60° spills southwards behind a storm system that will push across the province on Friday. The result will be an abrupt transition from temperatures in the mid-single digits on the warm side of zero to highs well below the normal 2°C. In addition the cooler weather, Southern Manitoba will move into a busier weather pattern that will produce multiple threats for precipitation over the coming week, including what may be our first snowfall that “sticks.” After a quiet 5 weeks, it looks like the weather is set to get much busier in Winnipeg!

3°C / -1°C

3°C / -2°C
Mainly cloudy

4°C / -1°C
Morning snow changing to periods of rain

Before things begin to get busier, Manitobans in the Red River Valley will get another couple days of above-normal temperatures to enjoy. Both today and tomorrow will bring mainly cloudy skies thanks to persistent stratus cloud that will struggle to clear out of the region. A few sunny breaks may show up, but generally cloudy skies will be the common theme. Temperatures will climb to around 3°C for the daytime high today.

Another batch of flurries is expected to move through the Interlake tonight.
Another batch of flurries is expected to move through the Interlake tonight.

Another round of flurry activity is expected tonight as a trough pushes through the region. The overnight low will drop

Thursday will bring a repeat performance for the high, but with a few more clear breaks likely on Thursday night, the low will drop a bit lower to around -2°C. No significant precipitation is expected either day.

Friday: The First Snow?

Friday will mark the start of our transition into a stormier, colder weather pattern. A low pressure system moving from southeastern Saskatchewan into North Dakota will spread an area of snow eastwards into southwest Manitoba on Thursday night, pushing eastwards into the Red River Valley on Friday morning. It looks likely that the precipitation will reach from the American border into the Southern Interlake[1], however the bigger challenge as this system pushes eastwards will be what type of precipitation will be falling out of the sky.

5-10mm of liquid-equivalent precipitation is expected on Friday; how much of that falls as snow remains to be seen.
5-10mm of liquid-equivalent precipitation is expected on Friday; how much of that falls as snow remains to be seen.

With a high of just +1°C, it will be a fine line between rain and snow, with a shallow above-freezing layer right at the surface working to try and melt snow as it moves into the lowest levels of the atmosphere. As the morning progresses, warmer air will push in aloft and help snow transition into rain. All in all, it doesn’t seem like a ton of snow will fall; perhaps 2-4cm, however with the switch-over to rain and temperatures climbing above zero, it’s unlikely that it really has much of a chance to accumulate or stick around.

With temperatures hovering near or just above 0°C through the morning, exact timing of rain and snow will remain somewhat uncertain until much closer to this system’s approach.

Temperatures will dip below zero on Friday night as they head to the overnight low of -1°C or -2°C. The freezing temperatures following the rain or snow we see could end up creating quite slippery road conditions, so if you need to travel on Saturday, now’s a great time to brush up on your winter driving skills!

Weekend Brings First Taste of Winter

Behind Friday’s system, significantly cooler air will begin working its way into the province. Temperatures will fall below zero to around -3°C or so for daytime highs and around -8°C[2] for overnight lows. Some lake-effect snow may be possible in the lee of the lakes on Saturday with the cool northwesterly winds moving over the still-open water.

Another low pressure system will move through on Sunday, bringing the first chance for a significant snow event to the Red River Valley. It’s still too far out to try and speculate just how bad it will be, but current model output is showing the potential for anywhere from 10-20cm of snow by Monday morning. It’s still a long ways out, though, and this system could easily end up to our north or south. Consider it added to our storm watch list.

So, with the arrival of winter fairly imminent, enjoy the last couple above-zero days!

  1. There’s a little disagreement with some models suggesting the precipitation remains mainly south of Winnipeg, but at this point it looks like a fairly safe bet that Winnipeg will be impacted by this system.  ↩
  2. …-ish.  ↩


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.