First Major Snowfall For Southern Manitoba

Residents of Southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba are getting the snow shovels out today after an Alberta clipper brought significant snowfall to many areas in those regions.  Across southern Manitoba, many highways were closed due to the event.

Snow falls in the Osborne Village area of Winnipeg on Thursday night.  Photo ©2010 Brad Vrolijk, taken on an iPhone with Instagram.

While the low pressure system that brought snow to Southern Manitoba yesterday through last night has moved out, lake-effect snow flurries continue to affect some areas of the Red River Valley.Environment Canada has issued special weather statements outlining the amount of snow many areas received.  Across west-central Manitoba, along the Trans-Canada Highway, and through much of the Red River Valley, snowfall accumulations as of Friday morning are in the 10-20cm range:

Selected storm total snowfall amounts

Dauphin                             17 cm
Gilbert Plains                      20 cm
Brandon                             10 cm
Roblin                              12 cm
Rivers                              11 cm
Winnipeg                            10 cm
Oakbank                             10 cm
Pinawa                              12 cm
Grand Rapids                        14 cm
Wilson creek                        18 cm
Wasagaming                          15 cm
Fisher Branch                       12 cm
Portage la Prairie                  10 cm
Beauséjour                          12 cm
Morden                               5 cm

While the storm has moved out, gusty northwest winds have moved in.  Temperatures should drop into the low (high?) teens, about the −10 to −12 degree C range, by this afternoon with an arctic air mass moving in behind the clipper.  This cold air is also producing lake effect snow.


This is resulting in narrow bands of flurries through small segments of the Red River Valley.  Winnipeg has seen fairly continuous flurries through Friday morning, and has already had another 2-3cm of accumulation from them.  They should move out of the Winnipeg area this afternoon as the winds become more northerly, however travellers should be aware for the potential of heavy snow along the Trans-Canada Highway to the west and east of Winnipeg.
We will see temperatures plummet tonight to below −20 degrees, bringing us our first true winter night of the season.  Things should warm up a bit for Sunday, when there’s a good chance that more snow will push into Southern Manitoba as a system heads east-northeast out of Montana.  

12Z GEM-REG 48H Output (valid 12Z Sunday Morning), 3hr QPF & MSLP 

Current indications are that this system could deliver another 4-8cm of snow, however the exact amounts will be a lot clearer once the system is closer to us and more developed.

One last note, is that the wind chill this afternoon will be about −24; well below the actual temperature, so be sure to throw on an extra layer of clothing and a scarf to keep warm if you need to be out and about.
That’s all for now!  Stay warm and drive safe.

An WC:M Update and Snow For Winnipeg

Just a short update, somewhat unrelated to the weather.  I’m away on work travel right now so I haven’t had too much to look at the weather.  I just quickly wanted to say that I’ve begun to make some improvements to the Weather Central: Mobile site.  I have added all sites through the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, as well as improving the colour coding for the warning/watch banners.  I plan on doing quite a few neat little things with the site over the winter, so stay tuned.

Onto Winnipeg’s weather.  Just briefly, today should have scattered flurries, except for areas in the lee of the lakes, where lake effect snow should result in locally heavy accumulating snow bands.  This will be of particular note if you need to travel on the Trans-Canada Highway near the Portage la Prairie region.  The snow will taper off overnight as the winds swing back around to the southeast ahead of the next system coming in.

All current indications are that this “Alberta Clipper” of sorts will provide Winnipeg with it’s first major snowfall of the season.  Currently, it looks that all of the precipitation will fall as snow, with accumulations closing in on the 10cm mark.  This event should start late Thursday, and taper off by mid-morning on Friday at the latest.

Get your snow shovels ready!

Snow on the Way For Winnipeg

Our stretch of beautiful early-November weather will come to an end this week as a low pressure system moves across Southern Manitoba bringing rain and snow and leaving behind more seasonal weather.

A sharp upper trough sitting over the Pacific coast has helped set up a southerly flow throughout most of the Eastern Prairies over the past few days, bringing with it unseasonably warm and dry weather to Winnipeg and the Red River Valley.

Over the past day, however, the trough has moved eastwards and is now situated over the Rocky Mountains. Warm, moist air has been surging northwards out of the trough for the past day or two, bringing plenty of precipitation to Saskatchewan. Currently, a surface low exists in Nebraska, with an inverted trough extending all the way up to the Swan River region. A cold front is sitting in this trough, with a warm front extending across the northern regions of the Manitoba Lakes. In this visible image, the fronts are shown by the cloud/clear sky boundary over Manitoba.

Visible Satellite Image for Prairies
Visible Satellite Image of Southern Prairies/Northern Plains for Tuesday Morning

This system has brought snow to western Saskatchewan, with some areas receiving more than 10cm of snow. The weather station at the Swift Current Airport reported 13cm of snow by 10AM today and a report of 10cm of snow was received from Stewart Valley, located just north of Swift Current. Further north and east of the Swift Current/Cypress Hills regions, most of the precipitation has thus far fallen as rain, however will switch over to snow by this evening. A few pockets of freezing rain have also shown up over east-central regions, close to the fronts.

This whole system will slowly progress eastwards today and tonight, but most of it’s movement will be northwards through the next 36 hours. By tomorrow evening, rain and snow will have moved into Southwestern Manitoba.

Precipitation Accumulations for Wednesday Night
Precipitation Accumulations from the GEM-REG for Wednesday Night; 5-10mm of Rain is expected for the RRV before switching over to Snow on Thursday morning.

On Wednesday night, cold air is injected into this system and it begins to intensify and move off. By Thursday morning, rain will have moved into the RRV, and should switch over to snow relatively early in the morning as the winds back around the the northwest. There may be a slight chance of a brief period of freezing rain as the changeover from rain to snow happens, however I would expect it to be rather unlikely.

Precipitation Accumulations from GEM-GLB for Thursday
Precipitation Accumulation from the GEM-GLB for Thursday.

The possibility exists for 2-5cm of snow in areas close to the International Border and 5-10cm for areas a bit further north, including Winnipeg, on Thursday. Environment Canada will likely issue some sort of notice on Wednesday as a heads up to the first significant snowfall of the season for the RRV.

This system will move out Thursday night at a much quicker pace than it moved into our area. Skies will clear by Friday and we will be left with daytime highs in the -1 to -3 range with light winds.

So get out and enjoy the weather today. Mostly sunny skies should persist through most of the day and the expected daytime high should be around 14 degrees with relatively light winds. Winnipeg has a shot at breaking the record high today; the current daytime high is 14.4 degrees, set in 1923.  Unofficially, Island Lake and Pinawa have both already broken their record highs for today.

So enjoy the warm weather, just don’t forget where you stored your heavier coats!

Southern Manitoba Under Influence of Record Breaking Low

Southern Manitoba Under Influence of Record Breaking Low