Mild and Settled

This week will start out mild, with little in the way of active weather.


NAM model predicted 500mb winds showing a slack flow through Southern Manitoba

A relatively stagnant flow will prevail over Manitoba for much of this week as the main storm track remains well to our south. This will give us seasonably mild temperatures and little if any precipitation.

Mainly sunny
-2°C / -16°C
Mainly sunny. Chance of flurries overnight.
-1°C / -8°C
Mainly cloudy. Chance of flurries.
-4°C / -18°C

Monday and Tuesday

Monday will be a pleasant day, with temperatures in the low minus single digits in most areas. There may be a few readings up near the zero degree mark in localized patches. There will be a light to moderate south wind through the day, but it won’t be particularly noticeable in most urbanized areas.

Tuesday will be almost identical to Monday, with temperatures once again generally around or just below zero. There may be patches of fog in Southern Manitoba again on Tuesday morning, but they will dissipate with daytime heating in the morning. The south wind from Monday will die off for the most part, making it a non-factor. A passing weather system may bring us some light snow on Tuesday night into Wednesday, but accumulations will be small.


As that system passes by on Wednesday morning, a weak cold front will go through, dropping temperatures slightly. This won’t prompt any kind of significant cool-down, but it will switch the wind to a slightly brisker northerly flow. Temperatures won’t change much however, with high temperatures in the low to mid minus single digits.

Long Range

In the longer range there is little to talk about. It appears we’ll cool down a bit towards week’s end, but otherwise models show no real trends over the next 7-10 days. No significant warm-ups are in the forecast, nor are there are major weather systems in the forecast. Unfortunately, this also means there is still no sign of spring…but at least there’s no sign of a nasty winter pattern returning either.

Warming Up This Weekend; Snow for Sunday

Another low pressure system developing over the Yukon Territory will push milder air into Manitoba tomorrow and return us to normal-becoming-above-normal temperatures by the end of the weekend. This low pressure system will slide southwards through the province on Sunday, bringing some light snow with it.

4AM Satellite Composite

North American composite satellite image showing the surge of warmer air pushing into the Alberta. Image valid for 4AM CST.

Mostly cloudy with periods of light snow.
-13°C / -18°C

The Red River Valley will be mainly cloudy today as a mass of stratus pushes down from Central Manitoba, sliding southwards into North Dakota, bringing periods of light snow throughout the Red River Valley. Temperatures will climb to around –13°C this afternoon and temperatures will drop to around –18°C tonight as skies clear this evening.



Mix of sun and cloud. Patchy flurries in the afternoon.
-6°C / -8°C

The warm front will push across the Red River Valley through Saturday afternoon, pushing our daytime highs up to an above-seasonal –6°C. Skies will become a mix of sun and cloud as the warm front moves in which, when combined with 850mb temperatures sitting near –10°C, will produce some scattered flurries across the Red River Valley. Skies will completely cloud over on Saturday night with temperatures falling to and remaining steady near –8°C.



Light snow beginning in the afternoon. 2-4*cm*.
-3°C / -7°C

Sunday will be the most active day of the bunch as this low pressure system finally pushes through. Temperatures will climb up to around –3°C as light snow pushes in midday. This system will not be particularly intense; total snowfall accumulations for the afternoon look to be only a couple cm. The light snow will persist through much of the night with another cm or two falling by morning as temperatures dip to about –10°C. Overall it looks like the Red River Valley will see less than 5cm of snow total with this system.

Some disagreement does exist within the models, in particular pertaining to the intensity of this system; the Canadian GDPS is, in particular, quite gung-ho on making this quite a potent system. It’s hard to tell what to make of it, considering it’s the outlier when compared to the other major models and this is the first significant weather system since CMC upgraded the GDPS on Wednesday claiming an improvement to the output “usually seen only once a decade.” Should the GDPS solution be the correct one, the forecast for Sunday should still hold up, save for the potential for a little more snow (closer to 4–6cm instead of 2–4cm). Monday, on the other hand, would likely be a significant winter storm with close to 10cm of snow falling and blizzard conditions through the Red River Valley (excluding the City of Winnipeg). The other models have just a couple cm of snow for Monday with breezy northwesterly winds, but nothing that would produce more than some local blowing snow. Right now, I think that the GDPS is digging the low out of SK too much and has it pushing too far south which would intensify the low too much and end up producing too much snow & wind. It looks more reasonable for a couple cm of snow and some breezy north winds producing just some local blowing snow.

So we’ll have an increasingly warm and mainly pleasant weekend ahead; Monday looks to be a wild card at this point, but holds the potential to be a significant winter storm event. We’ll post updated information as we get closer to the event in the comments below. Enjoy the long weekend!

Warm for a Bit Longer

With the exception of Monday, we’ll see our fairly warm weather continue into this week.


Surface temperatures as forecast by the NAM for Tuesday afternoon


Clearing. Chance of flurries.
-18°C / -8°C

Monday will be a day of transition, as a strong Colorado Low to our south moves off into Ontario, causing a cooler air mass to filter into Southern Manitoba. It won’t be a super-cold day, but definitely chillier than the conditions experienced on the weekend. Skies will clear through the day as low-level moisture is gradually removed from the area. There may be a bit of light snow in the morning, but otherwise no precipitation is expected.


Mix of sun and cloud
-1°C / -9°C

Tuesday looks to a rather mild day in Southern Manitoba, with high temperatures around the zero mark in many areas. Parts of south-western Manitoba are most favoured to get up to, or slightly above, zero. In the Red River Valley temperatures will be in the low minus single digits, with some areas potentially getting just up to the freezing mark.


-1°C / -6°C

We’ll see one more warm day on Wednesday, though the warm conditions will be tempered by another batch of snow. An Alberta Clipper will roll through on Wednesday, bringing light to moderate snowfall to Southern Manitoba. This could be a fairly significant snowfall in some areas, but it’s too early to give a more precise forecast with numerical accumulations. Temperatures will remain quite mild in spite of the, with highs generally in the low minus single digits in most areas.

It looks like this clipper will draw down another cold air mass which will stick around for awhile. Colder weather is expected to last into next weekend.

Warmer Weekend Ahead With An Uncertain Finish

Warmer weather will wash across the Red River Valley this weekend as a south-westerly flow brings in mild Pacific air. While the sun won’t be overly present, conditions will be quite pleasant with mild temperatures and light winds. The weekend will finish on an uncertain note as a Colorado Low ejects from the Central Plains with wavering agreement on where it’s heading after that.

500mb Winds for Sunday Morning

500mb winds valid for Sunday morning at 12Z. A complicated set-up will be underway as the polar jet merges with the sub-tropical jet and a shortwave from the northern Prairies merges into a developing Colorado Low.

Mostly cloudy.
-6°C / -9°C

Skies will be mainly cloudy today as a warm front pushes eastwards towards the Red River Valley. Temperatures will climb up to –7 or –6°C, a welcome break from the cold temperatures we’ve had over the past week. Winds will pick up out of the south-southeast to 30–40km/h this morning with a slight chance of some local blowing snow through the Red River Valley. There will be a very slight chance of a few flakes of snow but there won’t be anything that can be considered significant. Temperatures will drop a few degrees tonight to about –9°C under mainly cloudy skies.



A mix of sun & cloud.
-4°C / -9°C

Perhaps the nicest day of the weekend will be Saturday as the clouds begin to break up a little and temperatures climb as high as –4 or –3°C. Winds will remain fairly light through the Red River Valley through the day. Not much to say for Saturday night; skies will likely clear in the evening but fairly quickly cloud over again early in the morning on Sunday.


Sunday is a very complicated weather day. As it stands right now, we may see absolutely no snow or…quite a bit of snow, including the potential for a blizzard through portions of the Red River Valley. Temperatures should remain close to what they look to be right now with highs near –5°C across much of the Red River Valley. Winds will likely remain relatively light, regardless of the overall pattern, as there will be no significant Arctic high building into the region.

As for the complicating factors…


Mostly cloudy. Snow/freezing rain uncertain.
-5°C / -11°C

The general synoptic pattern will be as such: a significant Colorado Low will be ejecting into central Nebraska on Saturday night with a sharp trough digging northeastwards into SE South Dakota while, at the same time, a relatively weak low pressure system slides south-eastwards out of northern Saskatchewan towards central Manitoba. By Sunday morning, the Canadian low and it’s associated jet stream will merge with the Colorado Low with the CO low situated in central Nebraska with a sharp trough extending northwards through extreme western Minnesota then arcing through the Red River Valley northwestwards towards The Pas, MB. It’s always a concerning issue when the troughs end up west of the Red River Valley, as it can often mean a northward progression of the weather into our area.

Models have notorious struggles with complicated setups where two distinct atmospheric streams merge. It’s an incredibly dynamic, sensitive process in which even small changes can dramatically effect the evolution of the entire system, so models can often waver wildly on what the outcome will be from small changes in their initial conditions. That being said, using ensemble forecasts, the track of the low, and it’s associated snow, has been creeping northwestwards; two days ago the entirety of the snow was forecast to push only into Central Minnesota; now it’s forecast to clip southeastern Manitoba, including Sprague and portions of the Whiteshell. Model trends can sometimes be more helpful than the actual model output, and combining the ensemble’s northwards trend with the knowledge that this is definitely a situation where the model may not tilt the 500mb trough enough and then, as a result, not bring the low far enough north or west, I can’t say with any certainty what Sunday will bring.

There’s a distinct chance that the snow will remain entirely on the US side of the border and we’ll be relatively unaffected by this system. Should things develop in such a way that the low digs a little more and the trough tilts a little more, it’s also entirely possible that another 5–15cm of snow, or potentially higher, will fall across the Red River Valley. In addition to the uncertainty with all these elements, should the precipitation push further to the NW into Southern Manitoba, there will be a distinct potential for freezing rain as 850mb wet bulb temperatures sit on the positive side of the 0°C mark.

The reality is that for this type of setup, it’s simply too early to tell what’s going to happen. We’ll most certainly be providing updates in the comments below on the development of this Colorado Low. For now, it’s safe to assume that Sunday will be a warmer day with winds in the 20–30km/h range, but the actual weather conditions may end up being quite poor depending on the evolution of this system.