Arctic Outbreak Grips The Prairies, Improvement By Weekend

Temperatures have plummeted in Winnipeg with the arrival of an outbreak of Arctic air. Fortunately, the cold snap will be short-lived with a return to seasonal temperatures by the weekend.

A sprawling Arctic high will move through the Prairies today and tomorrow, keeping temperatures well below seasonal values. North winds of 30 gusting 50 km/h will combine with temperatures in the low minus twenties this morning to produce extreme wind chill values of -40 to -45. ECCC has an extreme cold warning in effect for dangerous wind chills that are in place across most of the province this morning.

Wind chills will moderate through the day as the high approaches and winds ease. Temperatures won’t recover much, though, with a high of only -24°C expected in Winnipeg. On the bright side, the city will see plenty of sunshine today.

Temperatures will dip to a low near -30°C tonight with westerly winds up to 15 km/h. Wind chill values will likely drop back below -40 overnight.

RDPS 2m Temperature Forecast valid 09Z Thursday February 13, 2020
Temperatures will fall below -30°C tonight across parts of the southern Prairies.

More sunshine is on the way for the city tomorrow with a high near -20°C. Winds will be light through the day, shifting from westerly to southerly as the high works its way across the province. Temperatures will fall to a low near -24°C on Thursday night with winds increasing to 30 km/h through the night.

Milder temperatures will gradually work into the region on Friday, but as is common with these transition days, it will be windy. The Red River Valley will see southerly winds of 40 to 50 km/h through most of the day with mostly cloudy skies.

GDPS 10m AGL Wind Forecast valid 18Z Friday February 14, 2020
Moderate southerly winds will develop over the Red River Valley on Friday morning.

By the time the sun goes down, temperatures should reach around -10°C, then increase further to around -8°C for the night as winds shift to the west.

Long Range Outlook

Winnipeg will see seasonal conditions on Saturday, then another cool snap will move into the region for Sunday and Monday. It won’t be nearly as bad as today’s Arctic outbreak, though; highs are forecast to be around -15°C. Through the rest of next week, most models agree in a general trend towards another spell of mild temperatures for the second half of the week.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -9°C while the seasonal overnight low is -19°C.

Arctic High Barreling Towards Southern Manitoba

A series of low pressure systems will bring mild temperatures and light snow to southern Manitoba over the next couple days. Then bundle up, because bitter cold will crash through the Prairies into southern Manitoba.

A low pressure system passing through the region will bring cloudy skies with light snow to Winnipeg today. The city will see about 2 cm of snow before it tapers off later this afternoon. Temperatures will be seasonably mild with a high near -6°C. Winds will be breezy this afternoon, picking up to northwest to 30 gusting 50 km/h behind a weak cold front. Skies will clear out this evening with temperatures dipping to a low near -13°C. Winds will ease and shift westerly, but some breezy conditions will continue to be possible along the escarpment of the western Red River Valley.

On Tuesday, more cloud will build into the region as the next low rapidly approaches. The city will see mixed skies becoming cloudy later in the day. Winds will pick up to 30 gusting 50 km/h out of the southwest, sending temperatures to a high near -3°C. The low will pass through in the evening, bringing snow into the region and ushering in a powerful cold front.

After a few hours of light winds late in the day, northerlies will strengthen to 40 gusting 60 km/h overnight. Light snow will move into the region in the evening and persist through much of the night. Although only around 2 cm of snow will fall, the strong winds may still produce some areas of reduced visibility in blowing snow. Temperatures will plummet through the night, reaching a low near -26°C on Wednesday morning. Dangerous wind chills of -40 or colder are possible overnight into Wednesday morning.

RDPS 2m Temperature Forecast valid 00Z Wednesday February 12, 2020
A powerful cold front will surge southwards through the province on Tuesday night, ushering in a bitterly cold Arctic air mass.

Skies will clear on Wednesday as the Arctic high moves into the region. Temperatures will barely recover with highs of just -24°C expected. Northwesterly winds of 30 to 40 km/h will continue for much of the day, not easing until the latter parts of the afternoon into the evening. Temperatures will head to a low near -31°C on Wednesday night with dangerous wind chills of -40 or lower possible again.

Long Range Outlook

The cold weather will stick around for Thursday, then seasonal temperatures are forecast to return after a windy Friday. The weekend will bring near-normal temperatures and variable cloudiness with no significant snowfall expected.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -9°C while the seasonal overnight low is -20°C.

Brutal Cold Builds Into Southern Manitoba

Winnipeg will experience life-threatening temperatures this week as brutally cold Arctic air moves into the region.

There isn’t a whole lot of setup to this story: in the wake of yesterday’s clipper system that moved through Saskatchewan, a huge surge of Arctic air will spread across the Prairies. Today will be a comparatively mild day with a high near -18°C. Skies will clear out bys late this afternoon, marking the arrival of the bitterly cold air. Temperatures will drop to a low near -35 tonight. Winds of 30 gusting 50 km/h will be in place for Winnipeg today, easing to 20 km/h overnight. That’s a stronger wind than normally seen in Winnipeg when this cold and will produce wind chill values in the -45 to -50 range.

Tuesday and Wednesday will both bring daytime highs near -30°C for Winnipeg. Winds will increase into the 30 to 40 km/h range for Tuesday afternoon, producing wind chill values in the -45 to -50 range. The winds will then gradually diminish on Tuesday night as temperatures drop to a low near -38°C. Wind chill values will likely hover in the -45 to -50 range. Wednesday night will be marginally “warmer” with a low near -35°C.

Temperatures will struggle to climb to -30°C in the Red River Valley on Tuesday.
Temperatures will struggle to climb to -30°C in the Red River Valley on Tuesday.

Needless to say, when daytime highs struggle to reach even -30°C, the cold presents a real threat to those unable to get inside. Consider donating to shelters to help those who are unable to escape the elements. Ensure that your car contains a winter survival kit if you’re travelling on area highways. Having one could mean the difference between inconvenience and serious harm if you end up stranded on the side of the road somewhere for some reason.

Winnipeg may challenge some records in the coming days. While we are unlikely to set record lows unless temperatures really drop on Tuesday night and end up in the -40s, the city may see some new record low maximum temperatures. The record low maximum for January 29th is -32.0°C set in 2004. The record low maximum for January 30th is -30.8°C, also set in 2004.

Long Range Outlook

Cloud cover and milder temperatures will begin working into the city through the remainder of the week. The city should see a daytime high in the -25 to -20°C range on Thursday followed by near-seasonal values on Friday. Some snow is possible to round out the work week and start the weekend.

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

Coldest Temperatures of the Season Arrive

Winnipeg will start the week with some of the coldest temperatures so far this winter. Fortunately, the cold weather will be short lived with milder Pacific air returning for the second half of the work week.

An Arctic high will bring Winnipeg an outbreak of bitterly cold temperatures to start the week. The city will see well below-normal temperatures today as the high struggles to reach -24°C. Breezy northerly winds of 20 to 30 km/h will be in place this morning, which will combine with the cold temperatures to produce wind chill values in the -40 to -45 range.1 Those northerly winds will persist through much of the day, keeping wind chill values in the -35 to -40 range through much of the day. The wind will ease in the evening as temperature drop to the coldest so far this season. By early Tuesday morning, Winnipeg’s temperature is forecast to drop to about -31°C.

Winnipeg will continue to see sunny skies on Tuesday. Temperatures will warm slightly from Monday with a high near -21°C in Winnipeg. The wind will make things uncomfortable as it picks up out of the south into the 30 to 40 km/h range. This will once again produce wind chill values in the mid-minus thirties. The wind will continue overnight as temperatures will rise to around -17°C with increasing cloud.

Near-seasonal temperatures will return to Winnipeg on Wednesday. With southerly winds near 20 km/h, temperatures will climb to a high near -8°C. Skies will remain mixed with a small chance of some light snow. Temperatures will continue to rise on Wednesday night as the wind shifts westerly. By Thursday morning, the temperature in Winnipeg should sit near -4°C.

Long Range Outlook

The remainder of the work week will bring mild temperatures and a fair amount of cloud cover. The weekend may bring some sun for Saturday, but on Sunday it looks like temperatures will return towards seasonal as a cold front brings clouds and flurries to the region.

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently -13°C while the seasonal overnight low is -23°C.

  1. Environment and Climate Change Canada issued an extreme cold warning for this yesterday afternoon.