Potentially Record-Breaking Warmth on the Way!

Warmer weather is on the way for Winnipeg this week as another surge of mild pacific air crosses the Prairies. Temperatures will push well past 0°C on Thursday, with several record highs at risk of being broken across Southern Manitoba.

00Z Fri. SFC Temperature from GEMGLB

Surface Temperature plot valid for 00Z, Friday January 6th, 2012

Warm air will surge across the Prairies with a low pressure system that will track across the Central/Northern Prairies Wednesday/Thursday. Those of us in the Southern Prairies will get to enjoy a nice early-January day where temperatures will reach between 5°C and 10°C by Thursday afternoon with relatively light winds.

Temperatures should be restricted by the snow cover, and I’d like to see a solidly southwest wind to get daytime highs as high as currently forecast (+7°C for Winnipeg).

Thursday, January 5, 2012 18Z Wind Field from GEM-GLB

Surface Wind & MSLP for Thursday, January 05 valid at 18Z from the January 3rd, 2012 12Z run of the GEM-GLB.

Currently, winds are forecast to shift from southerly to westerly in the afternoon, however if the troughing ahead of the low is not as deep as currently forecast, southerly winds could prevail in the RRV and keep our temperature significantly lower. That being said, I’d be willing to pin the daytime high for Winnipeg to be about 6°C, reached late in the afternoon. This temperature is well above the -16°C it reached last year on January 5th, the -13.5°C on January 5th, 2010, and the -24°C it reached on January 5th 2009.

The average daytime high temperature for January in Winnipeg is -12.7°C, and the warmest temperature on record for any day in January in Winnipeg is 7.8°C, set on January 23, 1942. The current record high for January 5th is 4.3°C, set in 1984. We will definitely be well above our average daytime high on Thursday and most likely break the old daily record. Is it enough to break the all-time temperature record for January in Winnipeg? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Dry Streak Finally Over

In a new post over at Rob’s Blog, Rob describes exactly how dry it has been this summer in Winnipeg. I recommend you head over and read it, but the highlights are:

  • This summer the CYWG airport site recorded 93.0mm of rain from June to August.
    • This value is over 140mm below average
  • This year was the driest summer since 2006, when only 91.5mm of rain was recorded.
  • Southwest Manitoba and the Southern RRV experienced near-normal amounts of rain while the Northern RRV and Eastern MB experienced the dry conditions this summer.
  • This summer was the 5th driest summer on record.

Be sure to head over to Rob’s Blog to see the whole post and some more details on this summer compared to climatology. All in all, if you enjoy the sun, this summer in Winnipeg has been the summer for you!

The hot and dry weather came to an abrupt end early Thursday morning when Winnipeg received ~20mm of rain as a large complex of thunderstorms rolled through Southern Manitoba, giving large amounts of rain and winds as high as 110km/h over portions of extreme Southern MB. After a day of sun with much cooler temperatures, Winnipeg is set to likely receive another round of showers tonight. Read on to find out what’s in store!

18:15Z Water Vapor Image
Water Vapor (7µm) Image of Canada from 2:15PM CDT. L – Low; Blue Line – Cold Front; Red Line – Warm Front; Green Arrows – Expected Track of Low

A moderately strong upper low is tracking southeastwards across the Prairies today and will slump to the International Border near Melita by late this evening and then slide east along the border, crossing over the RRV overnight. A frontal wave associated with this system will mirror its parent’s motion and slide along the same track ahead of the system, arriving at the western edge of the RRV by early-to-mid evening.

6 Hour QPF from GEM-REG 12Z Model Run valid at 06Z 03 Sept. 2011
6 Hour QPF from GEM-REG 12Z Model Run valid at 06Z 03 Sept. 2011 (1AM CDT)

Showers and isolated thunderstorms will develop along the warm front early this evening, pushing into the RRV around midnight. The rain will push across the RRV and through Winnipeg overnight. Most of the RRV will see only 2-4mm of rain, and there is no risk of severe thunderstorms. Perhaps a bigger story with this system is rainfall totals in areas north of the the low track.

24 Hour QPF from GEM-REG 12Z Model Run valid at 12Z 03 Sept. 2011
24 Hour Total QPF from GEM-REG 12Z Model Run valid at 12Z 03 Sept. 2011

The above picture shows the total amount of rain that is expected to fall from Friday 7 A.M. CDT to Saturday 7 A.M. CDT. Over 40mm of rain are expected to fall across portions of Eastern Saskatchewan, across the Parkland areas of Manitoba including Dapuhin and Minneodsa, through the Interlake and into Northwestern Ontario.

For Saturday, Winnipeg and the rest of the RRV will see the chance of showers as the cold front pushes through in the morning. By early afternoon things will begin to stabilize with the passage of the front, and most of the RRV will see winds of 30-40km/h behind the cold front with gusts up to 60km/h.

Chart of 500mb Heights and Temperatures valid for the evening of Wed. Sept. 7

Things look calm in the long-term, as after this system the upper ridge begins to redevelop aloft. It will continue to intensify through the next week, bringing sunny skies and the return of warmer weather. We should see relatively light winds most of next week with daytime highs in the mid-20’s. Summer isn’t over yet!