Slight Cool Down Before Mild Temperatures Return

26 temperature records were broken across the Southern Prairies yesterday as warm Pacific air flooded the region tied to a low pressure system tracking through central SK/MB. The RRV will see a cooler weekend as colder air is creeping southwards on the backside of this system, however the deep freeze is still a little ways off.

Overnight Snow along a weak trough in NW flow

3hr. QPF from the 12Z Jan 06 GEM-REG valid at 09Z Saturday Jan. 7

An area of snow will slowly push southwards through the RRV today, brining only minor accumulations to the region. The system should clear out by this evening, with the chance of a few light flurries through the night in a weak northwest flow. A ridge of high pressure will then work across Southern Manitoba Saturday & Sunday, brining cooler temperatures to the area with daytime highs in the -10 to -5°C range and overnight lows in the -10 to -15°C range through the region.

By Monday, another low pressure system tracking through the northern Prairies will drag more Pacific air over the Prairies once again pushing temperatures above 0°C. Many areas in Southern Manitoba should see daytime highs Monday near 5°C. Currently, it doesn’t look like temperatures will reach nearly as high as some places did yesterday, but things will become a little clearer closer to the day (naturally). It’s quite likely we’ll more daytime high record temperatures broken on Monday.

850MB temperatures from the GEM-GLB

850mb temperature from the 00Z Jan 6 GEM-GLB valid at 00Z Thurs. Jan 12

After that, it looks like we’ll be seeing a bit of a cold snap. On the back side of the system, a fairly strong push of Arctic air will flood through the Prairies, bringing us our coldest temperatures in a while. It looks reasonable, as temperatures in Oymyakon, RU have dropped below -50°C (-55°C when I checked last night), with daytime highs only around -35°C, which is a good indicator for colder weather pushing over the poles towards the Prairies. We won’t get nearly as cold as they are, but by the middle of next week, daytime highs around -15°C with overnight lows around -25°C are certainly possible, as 850mb temperatures are forecast to dip down to -25 to -30°C over Souther Manitoba . This system looks relatively dry, however we may shift into a pattern that will favour clippers tracking along the international border which may bring long-awaited snow to southern portions of the Prairies and the Northern Plains.

More Snow On The Way For Southern Manitoba

A system tracking across the Northern Plains of the United States will bring another shot of snowfall to Southern Manitoba tonight and tomorrow.

A low pressure system in Montana has pushed snow into most of North Dakota and is beginning to push the snow northwards towards the International border.  Snow should be slow to start this evening, with a dry northeast flow undercutting the moisture pushing up into Southern Manitoba, but by mid-to-late evening, the snow should have pushed all the way up to Winnipeg.

12Z GEM-REG Model Output Valid 12Z Sunday Morning (12H QPF)

Residents in Winnipeg can expect to see close to 5cm of snow fall on their freshly plowed streets, while areas closer to the border, such as Morden, Gretna, Altona, and Steinbach, will see closer to 7-10cm tonight.  The show will be lighter tomorrow, with only another 2-4cm falling in most areas.  Current indications are that this event won’t deliver warning-level amounts of snow; however people near the U.S. border will want to keep an eye on what Environment Canada does.

As the system moves out on Sunday, a concern again will be lake-effect snow flurries.  The sudden onset of cold weather is allowing the lakes to produce heavy flurries giving near-zero visibilities at times.  The exact location is too early to tell, however it looks like Winnipeg may be spared from them, with a more northerly wind expected behind the system.

After this, cold weather will return until mid-week, when it looks like there is another chance for snow.

Drive safe!

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.