Snow will gradually taper off today as Winnipeg digs out of the biggest snow storm of the 2017/18 winter season.
The long-advertised winter storm has finally moved into the Red River Valley, bringing a variety of winter weather with it. Everything started off yesterday evening as rain and ice pellets moved into Manitoba from North Dakota. As the precipitation intensified, the rain switched over to heavy snow. In some places, notably near Letellier and west of Winnipeg, people got to experience the rare1 phenomenon known as thundersnow. Heavy snow set up along a southeast to northwest band that remained stationary for much of the night. Winnipeg found itself right under that band, and so far has seen as much as 15 to 20 cm of snow, with snow still falling in some parts of the city.
This storm has had significant impact on southern Manitoba. Through Sunday evening, many area highways began to close as the snow piled up and conditions became quite treacherous. As of 6:15 this morning, most major highways still remain closed. Additionally, the wet, heavy snow has resulted in power bumps or outages throughout Winnipeg and the Red River Valley. Manitoba Hydro’s power outage map shows a rather extensive area where the overnight snow has impacted the power grid.
Periods of snow will continue today as it streams northwestwards through the region. At times where Winnipeg may find itself outside the bands of snow moving through, there will be a slight chance of freezing drizzle. In Winnipeg, the snow should taper off by mid-to-late afternoon as drier air begins moving westwards from Ontario. The snow will continue over the western Red River Valley well into the evening, so travellers will still need to give themselves time and drive carefully if heading west once the highways re-open.
Temperatures will continue to be mild today with a high near 0°C. Winds will continue out of the east around 30 gusting to 50 km/h for the rest of the day. The chance for snow will taper off this evening, as will the winds. The clouds will begin to break up sometime after midnight as temperatures head to a low near -12°C.
Tuesday will bring mixed skies with some gradual clearing towards sunnier conditions in the afternoon. Temperatures will be near-seasonal with a high near -5°C. The winds will be lighter too at about 15 km/h out of the northeast. More clouds will move in overnight as the inverted trough that has been anchored near the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border begins shifting eastwards. Expect a low near -14°C on Tuesday night.
Wednesday will bring the inverted trough back through Winnipeg, bringing mostly cloudy skies and a chance of flurries as it moves through. Temperatures will remain similar to Tuesday with a high near -5°C and low overnight near -13°C. Winds will be light as the trough moves through.
Long Range Outlook
The remainder of the work week will bring variable cloudiness with temperatures climbing back towards 0°C for the weekend. A disturbance moving through at the end of the week may bring another batch of snow to Winnipeg. Forecasts currently show the possibility of 2-5 cm Friday night into Saturday morning. After that moves through, the weather looks fairly quiet with mild temperatures.
Dig out, enjoy the winter wonderland, and get ready for slush and puddles by the end of the week!
Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently -4°C while the seasonal overnight low is -14°C.
- Particularly rare on the Canadian Prairies! ↩