A Chance To Dry Out A Little Bit…

After a deluge of rain over the past 10 days, Winnipeg is finally set to see some sunny, dry weather. A high pressure system pushing through the area will provide sunny skies over the next couple days with daytime highs pushing back towards our normal high of about 22°C.

Winnipeg has had 46% more rain than normal since April 1

Winnipeg has had 46% more rain than normal since April 1. (KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

Winnipeg is absolutely soaked. So far this month, many areas of the city have seen over 100mm (3.94”) of rain, with some areas of the west end seeing closer to 125mm (4.92”). This is a huge amount of rain for a single month in Winnipeg; the Manitoba Agricultural Department released a report showing that Winnipeg has had 46% more rain than normal over the last 30 days. This wetter-than-normal month has broken a 9-month stretch of dryer-than-normal conditions for Winnipeg and the city has already shattered last year’s total summer precipitaiton. If summer is considered June, July and August, our 100-125mm of precipitation in Winnipeg this month trounces the 93mm we got through Summer 2011. In addition, through summer last year only 7 days had thunderstorms reported. So far in May alone, we’ve had 5 days with thunderstorms. All in all, we’re off to a wet start to the summer that’s already been more promising on the storm front than last year.

Over the next couple days, though, we’ll see the sun. A ridge of high pressure will move across the province today, bringing sunny skies, light winds and a high near 19°C. The high begins to move out of the region on Thursday, allowing a slight southwest flow to bring some warmer air for the day, allowing our daytime highs to climb just over 20°C under sunny skies.

We’ll see a slight chance of showers on Friday afternoon as a warm front pushes through the Red River Valley, bringing temperatures in the mid-20’s for the weekend.

Miserable Weather Will Slowly Move Aside

A couple more days of miserable weather are in store before we move toward a nicer weather pattern. Conditions will gradually improve as the week progresses.

Potential rainfall on Monday, May 28, 2012

An upper level low will generate rainfall over a large part of Manitoba and Saskatchewan on Monday

Monday will be another cloudy, cool, and even rainy day. A major upper-level low pressure system (as seen above) will be sitting over Southern Manitoba for most of Monday. This system will generate rainfall through much of Central and Southern Manitoba during the day, which won’t allow temperatures to rise much higher than the low or mid teens. Rainfall will be more persistent through Central Manitoba, where light rain will be present through much of the day. Areas further south are more likely to see showers in the morning, followed by more continuous rain in the afternoon and evening hours. Total accumulations in the south won’t be heavy, but as much as 5 or 10mm may accumulate by late Monday evening. Some light shower activity may persist in the Red River Valley and Eastern Manitoba on Tuesday morning, however Tuesday is generally expected to be a dry but cool day with high temperatures in the low teens.

Weather Map for Thursday, May 31, 2012

High pressure will move into our region later this week, bringing drier weather

Conditions will improve as we move later into the week with a high pressure system sliding into the region. The Wednesday to Friday period should be dry, barring perhaps an isolated shower or two, with temperatures rebounding back to near normal values. Wednesday’s temperatures should be in the mid to high teens in Southern Manitoba, while temperatures on Thursday and Friday will hover around the 20C mark. A series of low pressure systems are currently forecast to traverse Manitoba next weekend and as such the forecast for that time period is quite uncertain. More updates on the weekend weather will be available towards the middle of the week.

Elsewhere in Weather News: May 26th, 2012

Already an Active 2012 Hurricane Season

The first major hurricane of the year for the Eastern Pacific Ocean spun up on May 22 to the south-west of Mexico and will likely make landfall on the west coast. As of Friday afternoon, Hurricane Bud was cruising along at a northerly trajectory as a category one hurricane, packing winds of 120km/h in its core and releasing very heavy rains within its spiral banding.

Hurricane Bud Friday afternoon

Infrared satellite picture of Bud near Mexico’s coast on Friday afternoon. (Source: NOAA)

Bud is forecast to decrease slightly in intensity as it hits the mountainous regions of Mexico’s west coast and interacts with the dry air to its north. However, Bud is still predicted to bring winds from 90km/h to 110km/h, as it makes landfall just to the south-west of Puerto Vallarta, between a weak category one hurricane and strong tropical storm status.

Bud's track

Bud’s track and coastal warnings; in blue a hurricane warning, in red a tropical storm warning, in pink a tropical storm watch. (Source: HEWS/NHC)

The worrisome part of this storm, however, is not the winds that accompany Bud, but the rainfall associated with it. From 150mm to 200mm are expected to fall with even higher amounts locally along the coast. As it makes landfall on the hilly coast, mudslides are a big threat to towns in the vicinity. A hurricane warning has been issued for a small part of the Mexican coast that is sparsely populated in the area where Bud’s centre will make landfall.

Interesting facts on Bud:

  • Bud is the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Eastern Pacific this early in the year; it reached category three (185km/h) late Thursday night.
  • Only 12 hurricanes have been recorded in the Eastern Pacific in May since 1949, Bud is one of them.
  • Two meter high waves were already experienced on the Mexican coast Friday afternoon ahead of Bud.

Mexico officials say they are ready for Bud; they have cancelled schools in 11 municipalities for Friday and have 15,000 spots ready in rescue shelters if evacuations are needed. Bud will reach land on Friday night and slowly curve back out to the Pacific as a tropical depression by the end of the weekend.

The hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific officially started May 15th and it has already been very eventful at its outset with two named storms. In the Atlantic, where the season officially kicks off on June 1st, an area of low pressure is already forming off the coast of Georgia and has a very good shot of becoming a subtropical/tropical storm by this weekend. So, lots to keep an eye on during this active start to this year’s hurricane season as there will certainly be more to come!

Low off the east coast

Possible tropical storm forming off the east coast in infrared satellite. (Source: NOAA)

Cool, Wet Weather For The Weekend

Winnipeggers: get ready for a shock. The next few days are going to be startling chilly with daytime highs over 10°C below normal and overnight lows over 5°C below normal. Another thing that will be noticably absent other than warmth? The sun will make only a few rare appearances over the next several days as another system pushes into Southern Manitoba, bringing another round of rain and thunderstorms to the Red River Valley.

850mb Temperatures valid 00Z Friday

850mb temperatures vaild at 00Z Sat. May 26 (Friday evening). An elongated cold trough is sweeping across Southern Manitoba, bringing 850mb temperatures in the -2 to -5°C range.

This cool weather has brought late-season (or is it early-season now?) snow to several communities over Western Manitoba including The Pas, Flin Flon and higher elevations over SW Manitoba (Duck Mountain & Riding Mountain areas). A few leftover flurries will scoot across the Interlake this morning and exit out of the province. The Red River Valley wil be spared, however we’ll be stuck under low clouds with a daytime high that struggles to make it to 10°C.

Tonight, a widespread frost potential exists over the most of Southern Manitoba. As a surface ridge moves into our area, winds will abate and we’ll see the cloud begin to break up a bit this evening. The greatest potential for frost looks to be over Southwestern Manitoba in the Virden, Melita, Pilot Mound & Brandon regions. Further east, here in the Red River Valley, some scattered clouds and a bit of moisture trapped in the valley should help temperatures stay above freezing, with overnight lows in the 2-3°C range. Areas outside the City of Winnipeg in the RRV certainly have a slight risk of a light frost. Winnipeg will likely be frost-free, with an off-chance of patchy frost in outlying areas near the Perimeter Highway.

Saturday will be our transition day with temperatures reaching 13-14°C and cloud streaming northwards from the Dakotas with the next incoming system. Rain will push up towards the International Border by morning, likely staying in the States but certainly poses the chance of a few showers along the border. The rain will stay near the border until Sunday, when the next big northward push arrives.

24. hour precipitation accumulation Saturday morning to Monday morning](https://img.skitch.com/20120525-mkq1sh9w3aa3twa7r6stuq9j2q.png)

Precipitation accumulation from the GEM-GLB model for Saturday morning to Monday morning. A broad swath of rain is forecast to fall from extreme SW Saskatchewan through Southern Manitoba.

And what a push it will be! Showers and thunderstorms will rapidly develop into an expansive area of rain on Saturday night, slowly pushing northwards across the Red River Valley. Most regions across Southern Manitoba should expect rain to start fairly early on Sunday and last through most of the day. Rain will likely taper off from west to east overnight, with only a few wrap-around showers moving across the RRV on Monday. It’s still early to give accurate estimates of rainfall totals for this next system, however in general, most regions across Southern Mantioba look to see at least 10-20mm of rainfall, with the potential for nearly 30mm in some areas of the RRV if some embedded convection can get going. Regions of Southwestern Manitoba that end up north/northwest of the main upper low track will see higher amounts as well, with 20-30mm of rain likely. This isn’t the best news for this year’s Teddy Bears Picnic, but hopefully shouldn’t dampen spirits too much at an event that has, historically, had to deal with some pretty awful weather. Wait, I’m getting deja vu…

Conditions look to improve through the middle of next week, with temperatures pushing back towards the 20°C mark and some sun finally making an appearance. That’s a ways to go, though, so grab your slippers and heat up some soup! We have some great stay-inside weather coming up. We’ll be sure to keep a close eye on this system and provide updates in the comments.