Mild Weather To Bring Cloudy Skies…Again

A southwest flow aloft is bringing warmer air back to the Prairie provinces, however with plenty of snow around to melt, our sunshine won’t last long…

A shot of sunshine in Winnipeg; a rather elusive feat as of late. The sun will go back into hiding this weekend. Photo credit: Instagram user @shwaahall.

We’ll see mainly sunny skies today as temperatures climb to right around the 0°C mark with winds out of the south at 30km/h. As winds subside this evening after sunset, stratus clouds and fog will begin to develop in the Red River Valley as all the moisture from melting snowpack is stuck underneath the inversion and is forced to condense as the temperatures drop. Expect an overnight low of –5°C tonight. The fog patches will stick around the RRV into Saturday morning before lifting.

Clouds will stick around for the day on Saturday as temperatures climb to about –1°C. Fog patches will likely redevelop on Saturday night as temperatures dip down to –5°C again. Sunday looks to be a mainly cloudy day as well, with a daytime high once again right near the freezing mark.

For now it looks like we may see the cloud get scoured out of the Valley as a surface trough moves through on Monday; for now, enjoy the sunshine today…we likely won’t see it for another couple days.

A Return to Seasonal Weather

A low pressure system tracking across Northern Manitoba will sweep warmer air across the Eastern Prairies bringing seasonal weather back to the region.

850mb temperatures this afternoon

Forecast 850mb temperatures for this afternoon. The sharp boundary of red/blue is the 0°C line, with blue shading on the cold side of it and red shading on the warm side of it.

The sun will remain elusive today as another shot of cloud cover will continue the seemingly endless cloudy streak that Winnipeg has been dealing with over the past several weeks. Offering some consolation, however, will be moderating temperatures. We’ve remained below our normal temperatures for this time of year1 on the back side of the Colorado Low that dumped 20-50cm of snow across Southern Manitoba, but we’ll see a warm-up today as very mild air at 850mb moves across the Red River Valley. As a low pressure system tracks across Northern Manitoba, it will draw warm air northwards from the United States, raising our 850mb temperatures to nearly 0°C. The extensive cloud cover and snow pack will limit our daytime highs, but they should climb up to right around -1 or 0°C. Areas with little to no snow over the southeast portions of the province may even be able to eke out a +1 or +2°C high today.

The rest of the week looks fairly uneventful, with daytime highs dropping back towards -3°C to -5°C as slightly cooler air pushes southwards behind the Northern Manitoba low. Overnight lows should also sit around -10°C for the next few nights. The major upside to the latter half of this week is that the sun should finally make an appearance. Clouds look like they’ll clear out tonight and we should see a bunch more sun than we’ve gotten used seeing to lately.

  1. The normal daytime high for this time of year is around -1°C, while the normal overnight low is around -9°C. 

The Calm After the Storm

After a weekend laced with active weather all over the Prairies, we will go into a much more subdued pattern for this week. But unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the snow is going anywhere fast.

Cold temperatures are expected on Monday morning in Western Manitoba

Cold temperatures are expected on Monday morning in Western Manitoba

The weather to start the week looks cool to cold, but fairly uneventful. The main story may in fact be the low temperatures, with very cold values expected. On Sunday morning Coronation, Alberta plunged down to -29C! In Southern Manitoba our lows don’t look to be quite that extreme, but if skies clear out as expected some -20C readings may appear in Western Manitoba this morning. In the Red River Valley our daytime temperatures won’t moderate much from this morning’s lows, with temperatures basically flat-lining throughout the day in the high minus single digits or low minus double digits. It looks like we’ll get down into the low minus teens on Tuesday morning, with widespread -20s not looking too likely at this point. By Tuesday afternoon it looks like we’ll climb up to the mid minus single digits, which should be fairly pleasant given the lack of wind. On Wednesday models suggest that we could get up to the freezing mark, though they may not have a great handle on the new snow cover, so I’d assume our temperatures will remain slightly below zero for now.

No significant weather is in store for the late week period, just more typical mid-November conditions. Long-range models hint at warmer than normal weather returning to Manitoba later this month, but those predictions should be taken with caution for now as our new snow cover may not be properly accounted for yet.

Major Winter Storm Ushers in Winter

A major Colorado low will bring an end to fall and transform our dry, dusty landscape into a winter wonderland this weekend. This storm will have major impacts on Southern Manitoba with heavy snow producing rapid accumulations and moderate strength winds producing low visibilities and drifting snow.

Satellite Image from 9PM Yesterday

Satellite image from 9PM last night showing location of the main low (marked by the large L) and the area of snow already developed out ahead of it.

Snow will push into southwestern Manitoba this evening as a band of snow that has produced 10-20cm of snow in Southern Saskatchewan spreads eastwards into Manitoba. This snow will intensify over the SW portion of the province overnight and slowly spread eastwards. By tomorrow morning, snow should have pushed across all of southern Manitoba, with light snow falling over the RRV and Whiteshell.

On Saturday, the main low centre associated with this system will push into Minnesota, and things really start to fire up. A surge of moisture will wrap around the north side of this system back into Southern Manitoba resulting in heavy snowfall over the Red River Valley and Whiteshell.

Total QPF

Total QPF amounts (liquid equivalent precipitation) by Sunday morning.

The GEM-GLB model is beginning to have a fairly decent handle on things, however it’s track is likely a little too far south. Amounts seem fairly believable, though, which means widespread accumulations of 15-20cm of snow for all areas south of the Trans-Canada Highway. An axis of heavier snow will exist, likely from near the Pilot Mound region extending NE through (or just south of) Winnipeg and towards Bisset, where amounts will likely end up closer to 20-25cm.

There’s some indications that convective banded precipitation may develop as well; should this happen, there would likely be areas in the Red River Valley (too hard to say exactly where at this time) that could potentially see 30cm+ of snow (that’s a foot if you prefer those imperial measurements).

Winds will remain moderate, only around 30km/h with gusts to 50km/h, however with the intensity of the snowfall, there will likely be periods of near-zero visibility. It’s also very likely that roads will quickly become snow- and ice-covered, with some drifts developing over highways in open areas. Travel will be extremely treacherous on Saturday, and highway conditions will likely not improve until crews have been able to get out and start clearing things on Sunday.

If you have travel plans on Manitoba highways for this weekend, it is important to note that 10-20cm of snow will fall across much of Southern Saskatchewan today. Through yesterday and by the end of today, up to 2 feet of snow will have fallen through central and eastern Montana, and conditions will be equally poor in North Dakota today and tomorrow. This storm will be arriving a little later in NW Ontario, with the precipitation (likely with an area of freezing rain) arriving Saturday morning instead of Friday evening. More or less, unless you’re driving north, you’ll likely be hitting challenging road conditions no matter where you’re headed this weekend. If you do need to travel in a winter storm, make sure you carry a winter survival kit in your vehicle.