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.

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.