A surge of bitterly cold Arctic air will send temperatures plummeting across southern Manitoba this weekend. The upside is that the cold weather may not last too long…
Much colder weather is on the way to Southern Manitoba in the wake of the snow that moved through yesterday evening. The clipper system that brought a coating of snow to the region was the harbinger ahead of an Arctic air mass dropping southwards into the Prairies. Its approach today will be marked by moderate to strong northerly winds near 40 gusting 60 km/h and gradually cooling temperatures.
The moderate winds, temperatures in the -10 to -15 °C range, and very fluffy snow from yesterday will combine to produce widespread blowing snow through the Red River Valley today. Conditions in Winnipeg will fare better, but even parts of the Perimeter Highway may see deteriorating travel conditions at times today.
Temperatures will continue drop tonight as an Arctic ridge builds into the Prairies. Lows will drop all the way to around -30 °C with mainly clear skies and easing winds.
Saturday will bring sunny skies to the region with a high climbing just short of -20 °C. Winds will stay light through the day. Some cloud cover will build into the region on Saturday night as an upper trough slumps into the area. This will help keep overnight lows a tad warmer, but some of that effect will be offset by a surge of colder air heading into the region as well. The overnight low on Saturday night will likely end up somewhere in the -25 to -30 °C range.
Winnipeg will likely see partly cloudy skies on Sunday with a high a degree or two cooler than Saturday. Skies will clear out for Sunday night and allow overnight lows to likely dip into the -30 to -35 °C range.
Extreme cold warnings are likely at some point over the coming days as the overnight low temperatures will make it fairly trivial to reach -40 wind chill values.
Long Range Outlook
The first half of next week will continue to be cold with daytime highs near -20 °C or colder with mainly sunny conditions. Heading into the second half of the week, though, there may be some improvement.
Long-range weather models all show the driving feature for this cold snap — the Polar Vortex situated over Canada’s Eastern Arctic — weakening towards the end of the week. If that happens, then temperatures would likely moderate with highs into the mid-minus teens by the end of the week. One can hope at least.
Get the long johns and snow pants out, here comes winter!
Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -12 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -23 °C.