Santa Delivers A Break From the Deep Freeze

Merry Christmas!

All of us here at A Weather Moment would like to take just a moment to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas! It’s been a wonderful year here at A Weather Moment and I want to thank you for dropping by — whether this is the first time you’ve ever been to the site or come here regularly — to see what we have to say about the weather. I hope that you find (or continue to find!) what we do here of value and continue to stop by for your weather forecasts, summaries and news!

Holiday Forecast

At the risk of sounding like a broken record that simply utters the phrase “deep freeze” over and over again, I’m glad to let everyone know that we all get perhaps the most wonderful Christmas gift that could be given to us this year: a break from the deep freeze. The next few days will bring temperatures near-then-surpassing our normal temperatures for this year as warmer air floods eastwards across the Prairies.

Christmas Day

-15°C / -25°C
Mixed skies with a chance of afternoon flurries.
Boxing Day

-11°C / ⇒ -10°C
Cloudy periods with seasonal temperatures. Chance of flurries in the morning.

-4°C / -17°C
Mixed skies and warm. Slight chance of light, isolated flurries.

We’ll see mixed skies today with a daytime high of around –15°C and a chance of some afternoon flurry activity as a weak upper disturbance makes it’s way over our area. No significant accumulations are expected. Winds will be a fairly steady 20km/h or so out of the northwest. We’ll continue to see mixed skies through the overnight period as the temperature drops to around –25°C.

Tomorrow will bring cloudy periods with fairly seasonal temperatures as the mercury climbs to around –11°C. A few flurries are possible in the morning as a weak upper-level warm front pushes eastwards over the Red River Valley. Winds will be fairly light out of the south at only around 15–20km/h. Overcast conditions are expected on Thursday night as a warm front pushes eastwards through the region. Little-to-no precipitation is expected with it as it manages to keep our temperature steady near around –10°C.

Friday will again bring mixed skies, although we do have a chance at becoming mainly sunny for a decent amount of time sometime between the late morning and mid-afternoon period. There’s a slight chance of an isolated flurry or two, but nothing worth going into any detail about. The temperature will climb to a balmy –4°C or so thanks to westerly winds bringing in much milder air.

GDPS precipitation accumluations from Friday evening to Saturday evening show a swath of 10-20cm of snow just north of Winnipeg.
GDPS precipitation accumluations from Friday evening to Saturday evening show a swath of 10–20cm of snow just north of Winnipeg.

Snow will push in overnight as a powerful Alberta Clipper moves into the region. It’s still too early to make any precise predictions, but it appears that the track of the system will bring the heaviest band of snow through the Southern Interlake region with anywhere from 10–20cm of new snow on the ground by the end of Saturday. Amounts drop off to 2–5cm in the Southern Red River Valley. Here in Winnipeg it could end up being a major snowfall; cold air has a tendency to be a bit of a bigger bully than the models let it be and shift storm tracks further south. It wouldn’t take too much shifting for that 10–20cm band to move right over Winnipeg. It’s all too early to tell specifics at the moment, though; it’s fairly likely we’ll see accumulating snow Friday night/Saturday morning, the only question is will it be a little or a lot? We’ll have more details on the system in Friday’s post once things have a chance to develop more.

The Weekend

Things go downhill from there, unfortunately. Another shot of bitterly cold Arctic air[1] will push into the Prairies which will push our daytime highs back into the –20’s and overnight lows to near or below –30°C. Unfortunately, it also looks like it’s going to stick around until at least the middle of next week, if not longer.

So enjoy your Christmas present of a pretty nice 3 days and get out there while you can! From all of us here at A Weather Moment, we wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the coming year!

  1. Have we used this phrase enough to be able to ™ it yet?  ↩

Cold Continues Through Weekend

The cold weather plaguing southern Manitoba will continue through the weekend as yet more bitterly cold Arctic air spills southwards. There’s some hope on the horizon that we’ll see temperatures skyrocketing above normal, albeit briefly, so read on to find out what to expect!



-24°C / -26°C
Mixed skies and cold with a chance of flurries.

Today will be a very cold day here in Winnipeg; a building Arctic ridge on the north side of a moderately strong baroclinic zone[1] will keep Winnipeg on the cold side of things and bring us one of our coldest days so far: our daytime high will only climb to around –24°C under mixed skies. There may be a slight chance of a flurry, but overall things look to be setting up even a bit further southwest than it appeared on Wednesday and the accumulating snow looks to have shifted out of the Red River Valley. This is not entirely unexpected; when strong Arctic air masses are in place, the models often give the warmer air far too much credit and push things further north than they ought to be. Unfortunately, they don’t always do that so it’s a little touch and go on figuring out whether or not the precipitation tracks are right in the long range.

Skies will become cloudy overnight as the temperature drops to around –26°C and we’ll see a chance of flurries through the night.



-24°C / -29°C
Cloudy; flurries likely. Clearing overnight.

Saturday will bring cold weather, cloudy skies and a continued chance of flurries. The temperature will once again only climb to around –24°C as we continue to be under the influence of this cold Arctic air. Flurries will persist through almost the entirety of Southern Manitoba as an upper trough slides across the region. We’ll drop to around –28 or –29°C on Saturday night under clearing skies.



-20°C / ↗ -5°C
Increasing cloud then light snow. Significant warming overnight.

Sunday will be comparable to the last week or so; skies will be mainly sunny until we see some increased cloudiness in the afternoon as some light snow moves into the region associated with a warm front pushing eastwards across the Prairies. We’ll climb to a high of around –20°C. There will be a slight chance of flurries on Sunday night, but we’ll likely just see a stiff wind out of the south as the temperature climbs climbs climbs up into the minus single-digits!

Next Week

At this point, the first half of next week looks quite warm, with daytime highs climbing towards –2 or –3°C. Little precipitation is expected. Unfortunately, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it looks like another brutal cold snap will move in for the end of the week, and at this point it looks like it will be (possible significantly) colder than we’ve seen the past week.

So to make it short: get out there and enjoy the weather through the first half of next week!

  1. A baroclinic zone is an area of heightened temperature contrast; similar to a warm front or cold front but without the significant movement that those features have.  ↩

Deep Freeze Continues

Bitterly cold Arctic air will remain entrenched over Southern Manitoba for the remainder of the week and through the weekend as nothing seems to be able to disrupt the pipeline of cold air flowing down over the Prairies. We will likely see some snow on Friday and Saturday as a low pressure system rides along the leading edge of a reinforcing shot of Arctic air which will ensure longevity to our December deep freeze.


-22°C / -28°C
Sunny and cold.

-20°C / -27°C
Increasing cloud.

-23°C / -26°C
Cold with some light snow.

We’ll see sunny skies today with a light westerly wind as a ridge of high pressure slides to our south. The sunny skies are, unfortunately, symptomatic of the very cold air that will be in place today; our daytime high will only climb to around –22°C with wind chill values near –40 this morning that will ease slightly into the afternoon. We’ll drop to around –28°C tonight with just a few clouds.

Tomorrow will manage to climb a couple degrees higher than today with a high near or just under –20°C, largely thanks to the cloud coverage that will increase through the day. This may seem backwards since it would seem to make sense that blocking out the sun would make it cooler, however at this time of year the heat provided by the sun is so meagre that cloud coverage can often warm things up by both giving off some heat that works it’s way down to the ground as well as preventing any more heat from leaving the surface. In the winter time, think of cloud cover as a big blanket. Skies will be cloudy by the end of the day and light snow will begin to push into the province tonight beginning in the Parkland and spreading southeast through the night.


Friday will see light snow over much of Southern Manitoba as a mid-level baroclinic zone[1] tightens up over the region. At this point, it appears that most of the snow will fall to the west and south of Winnipeg, but we should still see some light snow along the northern edge of this system. Temperatures will remain cold; here in Winnipeg the daytime high is only expected to be around –23°C or so.

Total snowfall expected at this point for this coming Friday. Little of any significance is forecast to fall in the Red River Valley.
Total snowfall expected at this point for this coming Friday. Little of any significance is forecast to fall in the Red River Valley.

As shown above, no significant amounts are expected with this system as it moves through; a few cm are possible through the western and south-central Red River Valley while most other places just see a light dusting. The snow will taper off to some flurry activity in the evening as we drop to around –26°C under cloudy skies.

The Weekend

At this point, it looks like Saturday and Sunday both remain quite cold with daytime highs not even reaching –20°C and overnight lows plummeting towards –30°C. Flurries will be around for the first half of the day on Saturday before clearing out and leaving us with clear skies through the remainder of the day and Sunday. It appears some light snow is possible again on Monday as a warm front pushes across the Prairies. I’m not convinced quite yet that we’ll see that 10°C jump in daytime highs currently advertised, but significantly warmer air does look to be on the way (for a short while, at least) early next week.

  1. A baroclinic zone is an area of heightened temperature contrast; similar to a warm front or cold front but without the significant movement that those features have.  ↩

Arctic Chill Settles In

This weekend will be marked by bitterly cold temperatures as an Arctic high builds into the Prairies, bringing with it the coldest temperatures we’ve seen so far this winter.


-18°C / -26°C
Mainly cloudy with some scattered flurries.

-22°C / -28°C
Gradual clearing through the afternoon.

-21°C / -27°C
A mix of sun and cloud with a chance of flurries.

We’ll see mainly cloudy skies today as the remnants of this weeks winter storm still hang back a while longer. Some light flurry activity will likely slump down from the Interlake by midday brining some light, non-accumulating flurries to most of the Red River Valley. There will be a brisk northwesterly wind at around 20–30km/h today which, when coupled with a high of only around –18°C, will make it feel closer to the –25 to –30 range. The clouds will stick around through the night with perhaps a clear break or two and we’ll drop to an overnight low of about –26°C.

Saturday will start off with mainly cloudy skies and we’ll climb to a high of –22°C. Skies will begin to clear through the afternoon and we’ll be left with mainly clear skies for tomorrow night as we dip down to around –28°C for an overnight low. Winds will be relatively light at 15–25km/h out of the west.

Sunday will bring mixed skies as Winnipeg sits between a system tracking through the Northern Plains and another system sliding down into Southern Manitoba from the northwest. We’ll see a chance of some light flurries through the day, but at this point no significant snowfall is expected. Temperatures will top out around –22°C, however the winds will be increasing out of the south as a return flow develops on the back-side of the Arctic high. This will make things feel quite cool with wind chill values dropping down to as low as the –30 to –35 range. It will be a generally unpleasant day. The risk for flurries will continue through Sunday night as temperatures down to around –28°C.