Breezy With Light Snow Today, but Spring Weather Returns Soon

It will be a bit of an unpleasant day in Winnipeg today as breezy northerly winds combine with light snow and cooler temperatures. Nicer weather is on the way soon, though, with plenty of sun and warming temperatures through the weekend.

RDPS 10m Wind Forecast valid 21Z Friday March 17, 2023
Moderate northerly winds will develop over the Red River Valley for Friday afternoon.

Winnipeg will find itself on the back side of a rather potent low pressure system moving from the United States into Ontario today. The region will see breezy northerly winds up to 40 gusting 60 km/h today, driven by the passing low and the approach of an Arctic high from the northwest. Along with that, a weak inverted trough slumping southwards will bring some light snow to the region. These two things will combine to produce some blowing snow in the region, but will mainly be limited to outlying areas and southwards through the Red River Valley. Temperatures will struggle to reach even -10 °C today, and head back into the mid-minus teens overnight. The wind will be stronger this afternoon, then ease overnight.

Skies will clear for Saturday, leaving behind sunny skies for the weekend. Temperatures will climb into the -5 to -10 °C range on Saturday and then into -5 to 0 °C range on Sunday. Overnight lows will sit in the -10 to -15 °C range. Of note, though, is that with full sunshine in mid-March, areas that aren’t just barren snow-covered fields will definitely see temperatures higher than this. It won’t be surprising for many parts of the city to see temperatures in the -5 to 0 °C range this weekend and to see plenty of melting despite the sub-freezing air temperatures.

Long Range Outlook

The start of next week will cool just a bit, then warm up again heading into mid-week. Some snow is possible on Wednesday as a disturbance moves through the region, but it will also likely bring a shift to daytime highs around freezing.

With no major snowfalls on the horizon and several days of sunshine ahead, it will continue to gradually feel more spring-like in Winnipeg; enjoy the pleasant weather this weekend!

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is +0 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -11 °C.

Snow Finally Arrives in Winnipeg

After a few dud events over the region snow is finally on its way to the Red River Valley, but exact amounts are still uncertain.

RDPS 10m Wind Forecast valid 18Z Saturday March 11, 2023
A stubborn Arctic High will remain entrenched over northern Manitoba as the next disturbance brings moderate easterly winds to the Red River Valley.

It’s been a complex weather situation over the Red River Valley over the past few days. The snow we earlier this week did develop as expected, and in fact, over the past few days was visible on RADAR as it streamed northwards over the region. But a stubborn Arctic High entrenched over northern Manitoba complicated things substantially.

This high was pumping copious amounts of cool, dry air into the northerly flow over the region which was pushed underneath the snow lifting northwards. This dry air ended up evaporating most of the snow before it managed to reach the surface. As a result, we saw little to no snow through the region over the past few days despite it falling a few thousand feet above ground.

This setup continues today, with cloudy skies and a slight chance of flurries. Temperatures will reach a high near -2 °C this afternoon, the d up down into the -5 to -10 °C range tonight.

The third system we talked about in our last forecast is now developing in the west and will begin bringing snow to Saskatchewan tonight and then spread across Manitoba on Saturday. The snow will begin in Winnipeg mid- to late-morning on Saturday and persist to the evening before beginning to ease. Moderate easterly winds up to 40 gusting 60 km/h will accompany the snow, producing blowing snow across the region in the afternoon.

There is still some uncertainty with snowfall totals. Like with the previous systems, weather models have struggled to fully capture the impact of the Arctic High entrenched over the Northern Prairies. As a result, model runs have been slowly shifting the expected track of this system further south over the past few days, reducing the amount of snow over many parts of the Prairies. But the models do seem to be stabilizing their tracks, and it looks reasonable at this point that Winnipeg will likely see 5 to 10 cm of snow with this system.

ECMWF Accumulated Snowfall Forecast valid 00Z Friday March 10, 2023 to 18Z Sunday March 12, 2023
The ECMWF snowfall forecasts have begun to stabilize with 5 to 10 cm of snow for Winnipeg and higher amounts to the south and west.

Further south, snowfall totals could rise quickly, especially along the western escarpment where snow will be enhanced by the persistent easterly winds. Heading southwards through the Red River Valley, accumulations will likely increase into the 10 to 20 cm range. The higher snowfall amounts coupled with the strong winds could result in very poor travel conditions, particularly near the International Border, on Saturday afternoon.

Temperatures will hover around -6 °C on Saturday, then dip down close to -10 °C on Saturday night.

Some light snow will linger through Saturday night and then taper off on Sunday. Temperatures will linger in the -5 to -10 °C range through the day under cloudy skies, then dip to a low in the -15 to -20 °C range overnight as skies clear.

Long Range Outlook

In the wake of this system, skies should clear as cooler air floods into the region. Seasonably cool temperatures will move into the region to start the week with highs generally in the -5 to -10 °C range.

Another disturbance will move into the region mid-week and could bring some more accumulating snow to the area along with warmer seasonal temperatures.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -2 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -12 °C.

Winter Cold Continues Through the Weekend

Below-normal temperatures will stick around through the Christmas weekend, but a warm-up is on the horizon.

RDPS 2m Temperature Forecast valid 12Z Sunday December 25, 2022
It will be a cold start to Christmas Day in southern Manitoba with temperatures near -30 °C, but warmer air will already be pushing towards the region in Saskatchewan.

While temperatures in Manitoba haven’t quite compared to the extreme cold anchored over Alberta and impacting much of western Canada, the region continues to see seasonably cold conditions. Fortunately for our region, it won’t get too much worse than seen so .

The detached lobe of the Polar Vortex that has brought such bitter cold to the western Prairies is now spinning its way into eastern Canada and is set to bring a significant winter storm to the region. As it departs, temperatures will cool slightly here in Manitoba, followed by a gradual warming trend.

Daytime highs will hover around the -20 °C mark for the next few days in Winnipeg with increasing sunshine later today into Saturday. Lows will generally sit in the -25 to -30 °C range, but there’s a chance of a sub-minus 30 reading.

Wind chill will be a bit of an issue the next couple days with moderate northwest winds of 30 to 40 km/h. Wind chill values will hover in the -30 to -40 range much of the next couple days.

Those winds will also bring some blowing snow to the region. Today will be the worst for it, with blowing snow possible in most of the open areas in the Red River Valley. Lighter winds into Saturday will make it a more localized issue then.

On Sunday, some cloud will push into the region as a disturbance dives through the region. Snow will push through western portions of the province, likely staying west of the Red River Valley as it struggles against the colder air. Temperatures will climb into the mid-minus teens with light winds, making for a relatively pleasant Christmas Day afternoon across southern Manitoba. Temperatures will dip into the -20 to -25 °C range on Sunday night.

Long Range Outlook

The Arctic air will lose its grip on the region as next week progresses with daytime highs climbing close to -5 °C by mid-week. 

Some light snow will accompany the warm-up; on Tuesday night, a band of 5 to 10 cm is likely across WestMan and the Interlake with lesser amounts near 2–4 cm in Winnipeg. If this system ends up a bit further south, the main band of snow could end up falling along the Trans-Canada Highway corridor.

The milder weather will last for the rest of the week, then slid back towards seasonal values to start off the new year. Happy holidays!

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -12 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -22 °C.

Light Snow Lingers Into the Weekend

Temperatures will cool through the weekend as light snow lingers on the back-side of the departing Colorado Low.

RDPS 24hr. Snowfall Accumulation Forecast valid 00Z Sunday December 18, 2022
Light snow will continue to fall over the next couple days in southern Manitoba. Accumulations will be relatively light, though, with only 2 to 5 cm likely by Saturday evening.

The Colorado Low that brought accumulating snow to the region over the past few days is gradually trundling eastwards, but its slow departure will mean both gradual cooling and lingering snow. In Winnipeg, this means cloudy conditions with periods of light snow over the next few days.

Accumulations will be relatively light over the next few days at just a couple centimetres or so each day. But with cooling temperatures, the persistent north wind and drier snow will result in plenty of blowing and drifting snow.

Temperatures will slide to around -10 °C this afternoon, then continue to drop over the next day. Expect lows around -12 °C tonight, then temperatures continue to slide into the mid-minus teens on Saturday.

Temperatures will stabilize for Sunday into Monday at seasonably cool values, but there will continue to be a chance of light snow.

Long Range Outlook

Heading into next week, a major pattern change is underway across the Prairies. A lobe of the Polar Vortex will detach and slump into the Prairies, bringing with it much colder temperatures. Beginning early next week, temperatures in southern Manitoba will begin to plummet. Daytime highs will fall into the -20s with overnight lows dipping close to -30 °C.

That stretch of colder weather will likely last much of the week, but some moderation back towards seasonal temperatures looks to be in store by the weekend.

At least we should see the sun more next week!

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -10 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -20 °C.