Mixed Conditions Mark Transition to Cooler Weather

Today will bring a mixed bag of conditions to Winnipeg and area before a cold front sweeps through the region this evening and ushers in cooler air from Northern Manitoba.

We’re off to a misty, drizzle-filled start to the day here in Winnipeg thanks to a large area of stratus cloud that expanded northwards out of the Dakotas overnight. This expansive area of cloud—stretching from southeastern Saskatchewan across southern Manitoba and into northern Ontario—will remain in place until later this morning; by midday, westerly winds will begin building into the region and help to break up the clouds and bring an end to the fog patches and drizzle.

The sun should make an appearance in Winnipeg this afternoon as temperatures head towards a pleasant high of 20°C. The sunshine will be relatively short-lived as a cold slumping southwards out of central Manitoba spreads another batch of cloud southwards.

GDPS 850mb Temperature Forecast valid 00Z Thursday April 21, 2016
A cold front separates above-normal temperatures in southern Manitoba from well below-normal temperatures pushing southwards through northern Manitoba.

When the cold front slides through this evening, there will be a slight chance of an isolated shower or thundershower. This activity is not expected to be particularly widespread and will taper off very quickly once the sun begins to set. Breezy northerly winds of 20-30 km/h will move in behind the front ushering in cooler air that will send Winnipeg’s overnight low to near +2°C.

Thursday will be a pleasant but cool day with just a few clouds and a high near 8°C. Winds will continue to be breezy in the morning at 20-30 km/h, but will gradually taper off through the day. Expect an overnight low near -1°C with increasing cloud.

Friday will bring mainly cloudy skies as a frontal zone sets up across the eastern Prairies. Winds will be light and there will be just a slight chance of some light shower activity. Expect a high near 8°C once again and an overnight low near +1°C.

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently 13°C while the seasonal overnight low is 0°C.

Mild Weather Continues

This week will remain mild with temperatures generally on the positive side of zero. However, there will be a chance for precipitation on Tuesday.

Today will see a continuation of Sunday’s warm weather. High temperatures will be in the mid single digits in the Red River Valley, and perhaps a bit higher over the snow-free area to our west. Skies over the Red River Valley will be a mixture of sun and cloud, while conditions over western Manitoba are mainly cloudy. The only wrinkle in today’s forecast is the potential for fog tonight, aided by the additional moisture generated by the snow melt.

A low pressure will pass to our south on Tuesday, bringing rain and snow to southern Manitoba. At this point it looks like precipitation over south-eastern Manitoba will primarily come in the from of rain. The Red River Valley will probably see a mix of rain and snow, while western Manitoba sees primarily snow. Large amounts of rain/snow are not expected, but models hint at the potential for localized bands of moderate precipitation which could bump up totals in some areas. Most areas will probably see 3-6 mm of accumulation, in the form of rain and/or snow.

RDPS MSLP & 3hr. QPF valid Tuesday morning.
A weak Colorado Low will bring precipitation to the Red River Valley on Tuesday.

Wednesday will be a slightly cooler day as a colder air mass surges southward behind Tuesday’s departing low pressure system. High temperatures will be near the freezing mark with breezy north winds.

Long Range

The long range forecast shows no indication of winter returning. Models strongly suggest that most, if not all, of March will be seasonably warm. Enjoy the snow now, it may not last much longer!

Mild Friday Leads to Cooler Weekend

The mild weather will continue today with daytime highs of +1 or +2°C today as yet more warm air washes over Southern Manitoba. The system responsible for this mild spell will be making its way across the region today and after it brings some mixed precipitation, it will push eastwards into Ontario, taking the warmth with it. Northerly winds will develop tonight and begin to usher in cooler, more seasonal temperatures.

Today will bring some more organized precipitation across the Red River Valley as the main disturbance that’s been responsible for the warmth this week moves across the region. With temperatures so close to the freezing mark, what type of precipitation will be falling is a bit of a difficult question to answer. Looking at the Red River Valley as a whole, we can say that there will be mixed precipitation, however for any one location may see just rain, just snow, or both. Even if snow falls, with the above-0°C temperatures, it won’t be able to accumulate much. By the time the precipitation tapers off, just 1-2 mm of rain or cm of snow will have fallen.

With light winds and above-zero temperatures, it also is possible that drizzle or fog patches are an issue throughout much of the day.

As the system moves into Ontario later today, northerly winds will begin developing over Southern Manitoba and draw in cooler air from the north. Drizzle or freezing drizzle will be possible through the early evening hours, but that risk should dissipate heading into the overnight period. Temperatures will dip to about -6°C with gusty northerly winds up to 30 km/h.

GDPS 850mb Temperature Forecast
The GDPS shows the gradual return of colder air via 850mb temperatures.

Saturday will bring mixed skies and diminishing winds as the Red River Valley sees a weak ridge of high pressure begin to build in. There’s a bit of uncertainty to exactly how much cloud will clear out of the region; it will likely trend towards cloudier, but we should see a few sunny breaks through the day. Temperatures will recover just slightly from the overnight low to a high of -5°C. The colder weather will continue pushing southwards with gradual clearing through the evening & overnight that will allow temperatures to dip to an overnight low near -17°C.

Sunday will bring partly cloudy skies to Winnipeg, but the southern Red River Valley will likely see cloudier skies as a weak low pressure moves through North Dakota. This system will produce some light snow for areas further south, but in Winnipeg there will just be a chance of flurries. Temperatures will be slightly cooler than seasonal with a high of -12°C. Skies should clear on Sunday night as temperatures head to a low near -16°C.

Long Range: Not Cold For Long

This cool-down will be brief; by Monday daytime high temperatures approaching the freezing mark will return to the Red River Valley.

Temperatures will be variable next week with warm days giving way to 1-2 days of seasonal temperatures before warmer weather returns again. No significant precipitation events are expected through next week.

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently -7°C while the seasonal overnight low is -18°C.

Temperature Roller Coaster Ahead

Temperatures will be taking a ride on a roller coaster this week as abnormally warm weather briefly gives way to a more seasonal cold snap and then soars back to well above-normal conditions. By the latter half of the week, above-0°C daytime highs may even be possible.

A mild air mass over the Red River Valley will bring a typical "warmer than it ought to be this time of year" mix of conditions to the region. It will be mainly cloudy today with a chance of flurries throughout much of the day, although if any snow does materialize, it should be light. Throughout the morning hours, though, fog patches and the risk of freezing drizzle will be the more prominent weather. The temperature should climb to around -1°C for a daytime high with light winds.

RDPS Forecast 2m Temperatures valid 21Z Monday February 15, 2016
The RDPS is forecasting temperatures just below freezing across Southern Manitoba today.

Light northerly winds will develop this evening, ushering in cooler air. As the cloud cover gradually scatters out, temperatures will drop to an overnight low near -18°C. The light northerly winds will continue through Tuesday courtesy of an Arctic ridge building into the region. Temperatures will rebound to a high of about -13°C under partly cloudy skies, and then drop into the minus twenties for an overnight low near -22°C.

Tuesday night will be the coldest night for a while as a significant pattern change begins on Wednesday which will result in a more persistent flow of Pacific air across the Prairies. The result will be a second half of the week that brings daytime highs well above normal. For Wednesday, a warm front will push across the Red River Valley, bringing southerly winds of 20-30 km/h and temperatures climbing to about -7°C. The warm weather will continue to push in on Wednesday night with temperatures climbing a couple degrees more. With that warmer weather moving in, there will also be a chance of some flurries, but no significant accumulations are expected.

Long Range: Warm!

The second half of the week will be mild, albeit cloudy, as significantly warmer air moves in from the west.

GDPS Forecast 850mb Temperature Anomalies valid 12Z Friday February 19, 2016
The GDPS is forecasting 850mb temperatures to be around 20°C above normal on Friday.

This surge of warm air is well represented by the forecast 850mb temperatures heading into Friday. As shown above, a surge of warm air around 20°C above normal is forecast to move into the region. The temperatures at this level don’t correspond 1:1 with surface temperatures, so don’t expect it to be 20°C above normal (which would be a high of +12°C) on Friday. Rather, what we’ll see is temperatures getting about as warm as they’re allowed to get with the established snowpack we have, and they likely won’t budge too much once they get there, at least until the warm air leaves.

Temperatures will likely climb to +1 or +2°C on Thursday with a chance of some light snow. Once we reach that high temperature, temperatures will likely remain there until a weak cold front moves through on Friday night. It looks a bit uncertain at this point, but there will be the chance for precipitation throughout both Thursday and Friday.

Heading into the weekend, it will be cooler but still above normal with daytime highs in the minus mid-single digits. There will be the occasional chance for some flurry activity.

The normal daytime high for Winnipeg is currently -8°C and the normal overnight low is -18°C.