Spring Fights Its Way Towards Southern Manitoba

The winter that seemingly never ends continues in southern Manitoba, but more snow may actually mark a shift towards spring-like conditions.

RDPS 24hr. Snow Accumulation Forecast valid 06Z Sunday March 13, 2022
Another low pressure system will bring a swath of 5 cm of snow across Southern Manitoba on Saturday.

Long-suffering Winnipeggers, buried under feet of snow and frozen to the core by a second half of winter largely marked by below seasonal temperatures frequently plummeting below -30 °C, have plenty of reason to look at the forecast with suspicion. Hopes for spring have been dashed several times already this year as long-range warmth is crushed by yet another Arctic High descending from the north.


Major Change is afoot. The polar vortex, anchored near Baffin Island the past while, will soon shunt northeastwards over Greenland. As it leaves, it will take the cold trough responsible for the persistent cold in our region with it. This will allow a moderating westerly flow to develop over the Prairies. As a result, the region should see a return to much closer to seasonal temperatures in the coming week. There’s a good amount of confidence with this larger-scale pattern change, too!

But, before we get that far, there’s the weekend weather to consider. This morning sees the region in the wake of yet another Alberta Clipper, complete with cold conditions, strong northwesterly winds, and another closure of Winnipeg’s Perimeter Highway. These conditions will last into the afternoon before winds begin to ease. The day will bring a few afternoon clouds, but it’ll stay cool with a high in the mid-minus teens. Tonight will be clear and cold with a low near -25 °C.

Another low pressure system will begin moving from northern Alberta towards the Manitoba Lakes on Saturday. As its warm front approaches the region in the morning, it will bring increasing cloud as southerly winds strengthen. Blowing snow will develop over the region midday, then conditions will deteriorate mid-afternoon as snow moves into the region. Travel conditions will likely be poor between noon and 9 PM on Saturday. The snow will taper off overnight with 3–5 cm likely through most of the Red River Valley.

This system will, in addition to the wind and snow, bring warmer temperatures into the region. Temperatures will climb to the warm side of -10 °C by Saturday evening. Temperatures will continue to warm into the 0 to -5 °C range through the evening hours. The region will see a low a bit below -10 °C by Sunday morning.

Sunday marks the beginning of daylight savings time, so don’t forget to spring your clocks forward and hour!

Sunshine returns to the region on Sunday with easing northwest winds and a high in the -5 to -10 °C range. Temperatures will cool to the mid-minus teens on Sunday night with light winds a partly cloudy skies.

Long Range Outlook

Next week will mark the transition towards warmer weather, but how warm it gets will be limited by the immense snowpack over southern Manitoba. Temperatures will climb into the -5 to -10 °C range on Monday, followed by a warm frontal passage on Monday night. This will mark the start of a push of milder Pacific air into the region.

RDPS 2m Temperature Forecast valid 21Z Monday March 14, 2022
A surge of much warmer, spring-like temperatures will begin building across the Prairies on Monday.

Forecast daytime highs for Tuesday through Saturday all sit above freezing; anywhere from 2 to 4 °C above zero. Those temperatures might be tricky to reach without a strong wind keeping the lower atmosphere well-mixed. More likely, the region will see temperatures up to a couple degrees above 0°C. Temperatures warmer than that will be tied to areas with less snow or more exposed concrete (e.g. downtown Winnipeg may see slightly warmer temperatures).

The warmer temperatures will begin melting the snow pack over the region. With dew point values staying at or below freezing, no unusually rapid melt is expected. The warm air combined with the widespread snowpack should result in quite a bit of cloud cover through the week. More sun is possible if southwest or westerly winds develop, helping mix drier air into the Red River Valley.

While we’ve seen plenty of broken spring promises so far this year, it looks like a near-certainty that southern Manitoba will finally see some relief from the cold begin next week.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -2 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -12 °C.


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 Mastodon.

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