Cooler Temperatures Settle Back Into Southern Manitoba

Cooler temperatures are moving back into the region today behind a cold front that passed through overnight. This cooler weather will persist for several days as an upper-level trough builds over the Prairies, driving the jet stream southwards.

Winter will gradually slump back into Winnipeg as cooler weather slowly pushes southwards through the Prairies, although temperatures will be moderated by an extensive area of low-level clouds that will likely take their time in breaking up.

Today will be the warmest day of the next few with temperatures topping out near 0°C, although a northerly wind at around 20 km/h will be tapping into cooler air to the north. Skies will remain cloudy, though, and a few remaining morning flurries will exit the region early, leaving behind a slight chance for some freezing drizzle. The chance for freezing drizzle will continue overnight as temperatures drop to a low near -8°C.

A cooler air mass will slump southwards over the next few days.

Thursday will continue with fairly cloudy skies; there’s some uncertainty as to how much clearing will manage to occur through the day but in general, expect skies on the cloudier side through the day. Temperatures will climb to a high near -4°C with light northerly winds continuing. Skies may clear a bit in the afternoon, but I’m leaning towards cloudier conditions. We’ll have to see how/if the low cloud begins breaking up over the northern Prairies today as to how much clearing we may see on Thursday. Temperatures will drop to around -11°C on Thursday night with mixed skies.

Friday will bring partly cloudy skies, relatively light winds and a high near -7°C. Not much to say about it! Expect a low near -16°C on Friday night with partly cloudy skies.1

Long Range

Temperatures will continue at near-seasonal values with not too much in the way of snow. Some guidance hints at a system that would bring 2-5 cm of snow to the region on Sunday, but there’s still disagreement on that. After that, it appears that there may be another chance for snow mid-week next week. All in all, though, fairly quiet weather ahead!

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently -6°C while the seasonal overnight low is -17°C.

  1. While -16°C is our best bet at the moment, guidance suggests a low somewhere between -14 and -20°C. 

Cloudy & Mild Weather Continues

There’s no end to the mild weather in sight thanks to a stagnant weather pattern that will persist through the remainder of the week. For those that love the sun, it will be a hard week as cloudy conditions persist with a continued chance of light flurry or freezing drizzle activity.

This weekend was a notable one when it came to warmth in Winnipeg as temperatures remained above 0°C for a record-breaking 66 hours, breaking the old record of 44 hours set on January 8/9, 2002. Temperatures first climbed above 0°C at 3PM on Friday January 20th and remained there all the way through 11PM on January 22.

Temperatures hovered between 0 and +2°C in Winnipeg for 66 hours between January 20th and 22nd, 2017.

This record mild spell broke no record high temperatures, but did result in a couple of rainfalls that brought January 2017 to the 2nd rainiest on record with 3.6 mm so far. The rainiest January on record is 1944 when 3.7 mm fell.

So, all that said, the forecast for the next few days is simple.

Cloudy. Today and tomorrow will both bring a continued chance for some light flurry or freezing drizzle activity across the Red River Valley with temperatures topping out near -1°C and light winds. Lows will be near -5°C both tonight and tomorrow night.

Flurries are expected across southern Manitoba on Wednesday.

The area of low pressure that’s entrenched over the region will begin moving out on Tuesday night, allowing some more organized northwesterly winds to develop across the Red River Valley. Winds will strengthen to 20-30 km/h by Wednesday morning and continue throughout the remainder of the day. Temperatures will be cooler with that northwest flow; highs will top out around -3°C and flurries will be widespread across southern Manitoba. Temperatures will dip to a low near -8°C under more cloudy skies on Wednesday night.

Long Range

Relatively mild temperatures will continue through the second half of the week with daytime highs hovering near -5°C. Sun may begin poking out on Thursday, but at this point it looks like Friday will be the first day of the week the sun makes a full comeback. No significant precipitation is expected in the second half of the week.

Mild Conditions Continue

The remainder of the work week will be marked by daytime highs climbing above 0°C, continuing an above-normal temperature trend that has persisted through every single day so far this November.

Today will be damp but mild as stratus cloud bringing drizzle and fog lingers throughout the region. A few isolated flurries may also be thrown into the mix as well, but we’re done with any accumulating snow for now. We should reach a high temperature of +2°C, which will continue to melt the snow that fell yesterday morning across the city. Winds will be light out of the northwest at 10-15 km/h. Expect cloudy skies tonight with a continued chance of drizzle or freezing drizzle alongside fog patches. Tonight’s low should be near -1°C.

Thursday will likely be more of the same with low-level moisture trapped under a slack flow. Temperatures will reach a high near +2°C with light winds. There will be a very slight chance of some patchy drizzle or fog. For Thursday night, skies will remain mostly cloudy until some clearing begins working in late overnight. Temperatures will dip to a low near -2°C.

This forecast sounding for Thursday afternoon in Winnipeg shows a deep layer of saturated air in the lower atomosphere.
This forecast sounding for Thursday afternoon in Winnipeg shows a deep layer of saturated air in the lower atomosphere.

Friday will likely bring some sunshine back to the region with more above-normal temperatures on tap as the daytime high climbs to +2 or +3°C. Skies will gradually clear through the day and things should finally start to dry out a bit. Winds will be light out of the south.

Tuesday Snow Breaks Record

While the actual snowfall event that began early in the morning on Tuesday November 22 was unimpressive with just 2-5 cm of fresh snow accumulation across the city, it managed to break a long-standing record: the latest day of first measurable snowfall.

RankDate of First Measurable Snowfall (≥ 0.2cm)Year
1November 222016
2November 211963
3November 201953
4November 191931
5 tie
5 tie
November 18
November 18
7November 171890
8November 161977
9November 151903

Yesterday’s snowfall was the latest in the year Winnipeg has seen its first fall/winter snow in the 144 year old record that dates back to 1872.

Long Range

The weekend looks quite nice with a fair amount of sun and mild temperatures with daytime highs continuing slightly above the freezing mark. Heading into next week, though, it appears another significant winter storm may be brewing. Some long-range models are hinting at the possibility of 10-25 cm over the Red River Valley through the first half of next week, but it’s still too early to really comment on how accurate any of those predictions will be.

That said, the continued significant story is the above-normal temperatures that have been in place the entire month of November and continue to be forecast through to the end of the month. If we do indeed see high temperatures close to what is currently forecast, November will be in the contest for the warmest November on record!

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently -4°C while the seasonal overnight low is -13°C.

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.