Warmer Weather Gradually Returns

The Red River Valley had an abrupt cool-down Monday evening as a dry, but quite potent, cold front pushed across the Red River Valley, dropping some of the warmest temperatures in the country by 10°C in a matter of an hour and returning the region to far more seasonal temperatures. The foray into fall will be brief, however, as warmer weather is already set to build back into the region over the coming days.

Today will be a bit of a mixed day; skies will be cloudier than not, but fortunately things should remain fairly dry with a high temperature near 17°C. The wind will be noticeable, though, as it builds out of the east through the morning to around 30–40km/h with some gustiness on top of it. The cloud will stick around through the night with an increasing chance of showers overnight.

4km NAM Forecast Sounding for Winnipeg valid early Thursday morning.
This forecast sounding for Winnipeg from the 4km NAM shows tremendous vertical velocities on Wednesday morning.

There’s uncertainty to how intense the shower activity will be and whether or not there will be any thunderstorms over the Red River Valley. At this point, the weather model most in favour of thunderstorm development has been the NAM model from the NWS. It’s difficult, though, to fully believe its output given some of the parameters it has been outputting.

Shown above is a forecast sounding from the 4km NAM model for early Wednesday morning. It reveals a high likelihood of thunderstorms, however what’s more important is the omega values it’s producing. Omega (Ω) is a measure of how fast air is moving up or down in the atmosphere, and often has values in the range of ±5–10µb/s. In strong summer-time convective situations, Ω can have values in excess of –60µb/s. The 4km NAM is producing values in excess of –160µb/s, which seems a bit physically implausible. The NAM follows similar ideas, which gives me hesitation to jumping on board the thunderstorm train.

Ultimately, any precipitation over our region is part of a secondary area of lift enhanced by confluence near a deformation zone of a larger system passing to our southeast. Because of that, it seems quite likely that we’ll see some shower activity this evening or overnight with a slight chance of an isolated thunderstorm or two. The more extreme solutions being presented by the NAM seem misplaced given the large-scale dynamics present. There’s always an off chance that the model that seems way out to lunch is correct, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it at this point.

Thursday will be a bit of a damp day with cloud and scattered showers sticking around for at least the first half of it. Any remaining precipitation will taper off through the afternoon, but the cloud looks like it will stick around through the overnight, sustained by another approaching area of lift. Expect a high in the upper teens on Thursday with an overnight low in the low teens. Fortunately, the winds will be fairly light.

Warming Trend Begins on Friday

Friday will see the heat return to Winnipeg & the Red River Valley as a warmer air continues to push its way into Southern Manitoba. Winds will gradually pick up out of the south to around 30km/h in the afternoon as the temperature climbs into the low 20’s, some 5–8°C above seasonal highs for this time of year. The cloud will gradually push out of the region through the day, likely leaving us with more sun than cloud in the afternoon, making for pleasant fall conditions.

Overnight lows will fall just to the mid-teens on Friday night.

Beautiful Weekend Ahead

This weekend looks positively beautiful for late September. Saturday looks to be a fairly sunny day with highs climbing into the mid- to upper–20’s with winds gradually tapering off. It looks like there will be a chance for some rain or thunderstorms over lake Winnipeg (mainly the South Basin & the Narrows) and areas east through the overnight period as a cold front pushes into the region.

Forecasted 850mb temperatures from the GDPS weather model
The GDPS is forecasting a surge of warm air pushing into Manitoba on Saturday, shown by this 850mb – about 1.5km off the ground – temperature forecast.

Sunday looks cooler than Saturday with a slight chance of morning showers, but all in all it should still be a pretty nice day. Mixed skies will accompany a high in the low–20’s, still some 5–10°C above normal. Winds don’t look to be too much of an issue either. All in all, for this late in the year, the weather this weekend looks fantastic.

Next week has the potential to be more unsettled, as many models are showing a train of disturbances pushing across the Northern Plains of the U.S. These systems can often bring rainy weather to Southern Manitoba, but at this point it’s far too early to say one way or another how things will go. For now, enjoy the rest of the week and the coming warmth!



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.