Arctic Blast Brings Bitterly Cold February Temperatures

The Polar Vortex has dropped southwards out of the High Arctic, once again bringing a surge of bitterly cold temperatures to the Canadian Prairies.

The Polar Vortex has dropped southwards out of the High Arctic, once again bringing a surge of bitterly cold temperatures to the Canadian Prairies.

Temperatures falling into the minus 30s on Wednesday night will combine with light winds to produce wind chill values of -40 or colder across many parts of the southern Prairies on Wednesday morning.

Temperatures will plummet well below seasonal values in Winnipeg this week as cold air from the Polar Vortex spills into the region. Daytime highs will sit several degrees below the seasonal overnight lows through the rest of the work week. A high near -20 °C today will fall into the mid-minus 20s on Wednesday, then gradually recover back towards -20 °C again through Thursday and Friday.

This cold air will be represented at the surface by a potent Arctic High that extends from Yukon Territory southeastwards into the Prairies before turning east through NW Ontario. This feature will also send overnight lows tanking, dipping into the -25 to -30 °C range most nights, with a chance for a couple lows below -30. 

The bitterly cold temperatures combined with light winds will likely result in extreme cold warnings at times over the coming days.

That cold will bring plenty of sunshine to the region. The one exception will be on Thursday when a passing low in the United States spreads some cloud across the region. The cold air over southern Manitoba should keep any snow south of the border, though. The sun will return on Friday.

Long Range Outlook

Fortunately, the batter cold won’t likely stick around for very long. By the weekend, a series of potent low pressure systems moving through the Atlantic will help dislodge the Polar Vortex and pull it eastwards. This will allow a more westerly flow to develop over the Prairies and bring warmer weather back to the region.

This will bring mixed skies to the region as temperatures gradually warm with near-seasonal temperatures back in the region by Sunday.

Next week will bring variable cloudiness to the city with a couple chances of some light snow and mild temperatures.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -7 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -17 °C.

Alberta Clipper Brings Blizzard, Plunging Temperatures

A potent Alberta Clipper is bringing very strong winds and blowing snow to southern Manitoba this morning. In its wake, a surge of Arctic air will send temperatures plummeting back to bitterly cold values.

RDPS 10m Wind Forecast valid 15Z Tuesday February 1, 2022
Strong northwest winds will bring blizzard conditions to the Red River Valley on Tuesday morning.

Starting the day today, the clipper has moved off to the east and brought strong northwest winds as high as 60 gusting 80 km/h to the Red River Valley. This, combined with the 5–10 cm of snow overnight, is producing widespread blizzard conditions through the Red River Valley. Temperatures have also fallen from a high close to 0 °C near midnight into the -10 to -15 °C range. The snow will taper off today as temperatures continue to fall towards -20 °C by the end of the day.

Those strong winds will ease to 40 gusting 60 km/h by the end of the day. This will ease the blizzard conditions, but areas of poor visibility in blowing snow will likely persist across the region into the evening hours.

The wind will ease Tuesday night as skies clear and temperatures head to a low dipping below -30 °C. Extreme cold warnings may be issued if enough wind persists to hit -40 wind chills (only 10–15 km/h winds will be needed).

RDPS 2m Temperature Forecast valid 12Z Thursday February 3, 2022
Bitterly cold temperatures with lows into the -30s will return to southern Manitoba later in the week.

Mid-week will bring plenty of sun but temperatures will stay quite cold with highs in the -20 to -25 °C range and lows dipping into the -30 to -35 °C range. Extreme cold warnings are all but a certainty on Wednesday night.

A weak disturbance will begin to push a little bit of warmer air into the province on Thursday night, bringing some cloud and a chance of some light snow. Skies should clear out again for Friday.

Long Range Outlook

The end of the work week will continue cold, but a substantial push of warm air and cloud will move into the region Friday night. Another 5–10 cm of snow could fall by Saturday evening.

After that, the region will see variable cloudiness with a general warming trend to the forecasts. Next week looks like it could be a return to seasonably mild temperatures with highs climbing back above -10 °C.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -11 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -21 °C.

One More Snow, Then The Deep Freeze Moves In

The Red River Valley will be grazed by a little more snow today, then a bitterly cold air mass will entrench itself over the region.

RDPS 2m Temperature Forecast valid 12Z Wednesday December 29, 2021
Very cold temperatures will move into Southern Manitoba by Wednesday morning and will persist into the weekend.

If the dump of snow yesterday wasn’t quite enough for you, a little more snow is possible this morning. One last disturbance will move through the region this morning, bringing 4–8 cm of snow to southeastern Manitoba. This area of snow will also graze the Red River Valley with 2–5 cm possible along a southwest to northwest line draped across the area.

The snow will clear out this evening, leaving behind clear skies as bitterly cold temperatures push into the region.

The big weather story for the rest of the week will be the cold temperatures that will stay locked over the region. Daytime highs will be around 15 °C below seasonal in the -30 to -25 °C range right to Saturday. Overnight lows will vary, but there is the potential for some very cold nights with lows dipping below -35 °C. Extreme cold warnings are a certainty for the region in the days ahead as wind chill values of -40 or lower are likely unavoidable.

A few flurries may be possible later this week, but the organized snowfall will be over for a bit after today.

Long Range Outlook

Forecasts have temperatures moderating beginning on Sunday and lasting through much of next week. This warmer weather will come with some snow as well with chances both next Monday and mid-week.

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

Deep Freeze To Slowly Ease This Week

Winnipeg will gradually come out of the grip of bone-chilling cold that’s been in place over the last 10 days.

The polar vortex will slowly shift eastwards this week, allowing warmer temperatures to return to the Prairies. The temperature climb, unfortunately, is relegated mainly to the second half of the week. In Winnipeg, highs will only climb from around -23 °C today to -20 °C on Wednesday with a bit of a southerly wind at times. Overnight lows will hover in the low minus thirties.

RDPS 2m Temperature Forecast valid 21Z Wednesday February 17, 2021
Wednesday will be a turning point for southern Manitoba where the bitter cold finally begins to break down.

Long Range Outlook

The rest of the week will bring partly cloudy skies to Winnipeg as temperatures climb back to seasonal values by Saturday. No notable snowfall is in the forecast between now and next week.

Temperatures will likely climb above seasonal values and close to the freezing mark by Sunday or Monday. Get the shorts ready!

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -8 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -19 °C.