After a week of relatively pleasant, albeit somewhat sloppy, weather in Southern Manitoba we’re headed for a kind of meteorological cliff. Our weather will change dramatically this Friday, as colder and snowier weather moves in.
Before we head off this cliff, our weather will remain very nice. High temperatures on Wednesday will be in the low minus single digits in Southern Manitoba. There may even be a few zero degree readings in south-western sections of Manitoba late in the day as warmer air surges into Manitoba. On Thursday we should reach our warmest temperatures of the week with values in the low (positive) single digits expected. Some of the traditional warm spots in Southern Manitoba may reach values slightly warmer than that. The daytime hours of Thursday will be fairly nice in most of Southern Manitoba, but conditions will begin to change in the afternoon in western areas as snow begins to move in.
Our trek off the meteorological cliff will begin on Thursday night, as snow develops over Southern Manitoba. The snow is expected to begin on Thursday afternoon (or early evening) in Western Manitoba, eventually moving spreading through the remainder of Southern Manitoba by late Thursday evening or very early Friday morning. Total accumulations from this initial batch of snow will generally be in the 2 to 5cm range in Southern Manitoba. By Friday morning temperatures will have fallen into the mid minus teens over much of Southern Manitoba. Snow is expected to taper off from west to east in Southern Manitoba on Friday morning, with south-eastern sections seeing snow linger the longest. The second wave of snow moves in on Friday night. This wave will be generated as a strong Colorado Low system moves up from the south. At this point it appears that this secondary wave of snow will bring another 2 to 4cm to Winnipeg and another 4 to 8cm to south-eastern Manitoba. It is entirely possible that the amounts from this secondary area of snow could be higher or lower than listed above. Depending on where the system ends up tracking Winnipeg could end up with more snow, or perhaps none at all. However, I do believe south-eastern Manitoba will receive some snow during this time period, though again it could be more or less than I have listed above.
A secondary concern will develop on Friday as strong north winds develop in response to the intensification of the Colorado Low. At this point it appears that northerly winds of 40km/h gusting to 60km/h, or maybe even 50km/h gusting to 70km/h on a more localized basis, will materialize on Friday. This could create significant travel difficulties as blizzard conditions, or near blizzard conditions may develop as these very strong winds interact with the fresh snow. It is too early to say exactly how bad things may get, but this is certainly something that will need to be monitored closely over the next few days. Please continue to check back with A Weather Moment for further updates on this developing weather story.
After this Colorado Low passes by, conditions will turn calm, but cold. At this point most models keep us in very cold air for basically all of the next ten days. Arctic air doesn’t make a habit of moving around very quickly, so it is likely that we’ll remain in this arctic air mass for an extended period of time. There may be some warmer days here and there, but those details are not yet known with any certainty.
Enjoy these last couple warm days, as winter is quietly waiting to push us off the meteorological cliff.