Warmer Weather Returns, but Unsettled Conditions Ahead

Winnipeg will finally see temperatures returning towards seasonal values, but after a couple more nice days the weather will turn more unsettled.

RDPS Precipitation Type & Intensity Forecast valid 00Z Monday March 3, 2023
Southern Manitoba will see more snow on Sunday as a compact but intense low pressure system moves through.

It will be seasonably cool in Winnipeg over the next couple days as daytime highs climb to around the freezing mark under sunny skies. A broad area of high pressure over the province will keep the main weather track to the south, leaving cool but pleasant conditions across southern Manitoba.

Overnight lows will be cool tonight as clear skies combine with the widespread snowpack still in place over the region. Most areas will see temperatures dip down  into the -15 to -20 °C by early Saturday morning. Overnight lows will be very different on Saturday night as cloud cover associated with an approaching warm front moves in. Most areas will see temperatures stay steady in the 0 to -5 °C range.

On Sunday, a low pressure system will track across southern Manitoba, bringing mainly snow to the region, though a wintery mix may be possible in some parts of southern Manitoba. Accumulations are tricky to forecast at this point; this system will be compact and relatively energetic, likely with some convective elements embedded within it. On the cold side of this system’s fronts, snowfall amounts of 5–10 cm are possible, perhaps even higher if this system has enough instability. On the warm side, temperatures could end up climbing a degree or two above freezing, and melting will impact the accumulations.

All that means that what any one place sees on Sunday will depend significantly on the exact track of the system and how intense the low ends up being. Almost certainly many places will see poor conditions on Sunday with some accumulation of snow and possibly rain, but we’ll need to wait a bit longer to see exactly how this system shapes up to know exactly what it will bring.

Long Range Outlook

The weather will settle down for a couple days to start next week, though a fair amount of cloud will linger in the region. Temperatures will again stay seasonably cool with light northerly winds.

The next disturbance that could impact our region is a potent Colorado Low expected to eject northeastwards mid-week. There’s a significant amount of uncertainty as to how far north this system will push, but there is a chance that southern Manitoba will be grazed by the northwestern flank of the system. This could bring light to moderate snow into the province along with cool temperatures and moderate to strong northerly winds possibly beginning Tuesday night into Wednesday.

We’ll be keeping an eye on this system as it develops and have an update in next week’s forecast.

Otherwise, it’s reasonable to expect seasonally cool temperatures as the snow pack remains over the region, with cooler lows on clear nights. We should begin to see a more sustained warmup after next week as heading into April the sun begins to get noticeably stronger and warmer conditions continue to push northwards through the United States.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is 5 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -6 °C.

Near-Seasonal Temperatures With a Bit of Light Snow on the Way

Seasonal March warmth will stick around in Wininpeg this week, but a passing low pressure system will clip the province tonight and bring some fresh snow to the region.

ECMWF 24-hr. Snow Accumulation Forecast valid 18Z Wednesday March 22, 2023
Southern Manitoba will be clipped by a passing low pressure system on Tuesday night; accumulating snow will fall through most of the Red River Valley and southeastern corner of the province.

An upper ridge over the west coast that has maintained downstream roughing over the eastern Prairies has been the driver behind the cooler temperatures across southern Manitoba over the last several days. Fortunately for us, this feature has begun to collapse and will allow milder air to push eastwards across the Prairies.

Before that happens, though, a compact low pressure system will impact the region tonight. It will spread snow through North Dakota today, then into Southern Manitoba and Minnesota tonight. Much of the heaviest accumulations will remain south of the border, but accumulating snow will still fall across the region. Winnipeg will likely see 2–4 cm of snow by Wednesday morning while amounts increase into the 5–10 cm range to the southeast. The heaviest swath of snow, likely 10–15 cm will from eastern North Dakota into the Kenora, ON region.

Fortunately, winds will stay fairly light through the event, snow blowing snow won’t be too big an issue overnight into tomorrow.

Aside from tonight’s snow, the weather will be quite pleasant with sunny to mixed skies and light winds through much of the week. Daytime highs will hover just on the cold side of freezing, while overnight lows will have a bit more variability. Tuesday night will likely be the coldest night of the week as clear skies combine with the fresh snow cover to drive lows into the -15 to -20 °C range. Other nights this week will likely see low near -10 °C as warmer air begins moving into the region.

Long Range Outlook

A low pressure system passing to the north will bring some cloud and a chance of flurries to the region on Friday into Saturday, then sunshine should return to end the weekend and kick off next week. Temperatures may cool slightly on the back-side of that system, but near-seasonal temperatures should return by mid-week.

And like we’ve mentioned before, daytime highs will vary depending where you find yourself in Winnipeg; more urban parts of the city, especially those close to the downtown core, will likely find plenty of melting and highs near or even a touch above freezing in the coming days as more of the dark surfaces are exposed and able to absorb heat from the strengthening spring sun.

Enjoy the beautiful weather ahead!

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is +1 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -9 °C.

Snow Finally Arrives in Winnipeg

After a few dud events over the region snow is finally on its way to the Red River Valley, but exact amounts are still uncertain.

RDPS 10m Wind Forecast valid 18Z Saturday March 11, 2023
A stubborn Arctic High will remain entrenched over northern Manitoba as the next disturbance brings moderate easterly winds to the Red River Valley.

It’s been a complex weather situation over the Red River Valley over the past few days. The snow we earlier this week did develop as expected, and in fact, over the past few days was visible on RADAR as it streamed northwards over the region. But a stubborn Arctic High entrenched over northern Manitoba complicated things substantially.

This high was pumping copious amounts of cool, dry air into the northerly flow over the region which was pushed underneath the snow lifting northwards. This dry air ended up evaporating most of the snow before it managed to reach the surface. As a result, we saw little to no snow through the region over the past few days despite it falling a few thousand feet above ground.

This setup continues today, with cloudy skies and a slight chance of flurries. Temperatures will reach a high near -2 °C this afternoon, the d up down into the -5 to -10 °C range tonight.

The third system we talked about in our last forecast is now developing in the west and will begin bringing snow to Saskatchewan tonight and then spread across Manitoba on Saturday. The snow will begin in Winnipeg mid- to late-morning on Saturday and persist to the evening before beginning to ease. Moderate easterly winds up to 40 gusting 60 km/h will accompany the snow, producing blowing snow across the region in the afternoon.

There is still some uncertainty with snowfall totals. Like with the previous systems, weather models have struggled to fully capture the impact of the Arctic High entrenched over the Northern Prairies. As a result, model runs have been slowly shifting the expected track of this system further south over the past few days, reducing the amount of snow over many parts of the Prairies. But the models do seem to be stabilizing their tracks, and it looks reasonable at this point that Winnipeg will likely see 5 to 10 cm of snow with this system.

ECMWF Accumulated Snowfall Forecast valid 00Z Friday March 10, 2023 to 18Z Sunday March 12, 2023
The ECMWF snowfall forecasts have begun to stabilize with 5 to 10 cm of snow for Winnipeg and higher amounts to the south and west.

Further south, snowfall totals could rise quickly, especially along the western escarpment where snow will be enhanced by the persistent easterly winds. Heading southwards through the Red River Valley, accumulations will likely increase into the 10 to 20 cm range. The higher snowfall amounts coupled with the strong winds could result in very poor travel conditions, particularly near the International Border, on Saturday afternoon.

Temperatures will hover around -6 °C on Saturday, then dip down close to -10 °C on Saturday night.

Some light snow will linger through Saturday night and then taper off on Sunday. Temperatures will linger in the -5 to -10 °C range through the day under cloudy skies, then dip to a low in the -15 to -20 °C range overnight as skies clear.

Long Range Outlook

In the wake of this system, skies should clear as cooler air floods into the region. Seasonably cool temperatures will move into the region to start the week with highs generally in the -5 to -10 °C range.

Another disturbance will move into the region mid-week and could bring some more accumulating snow to the area along with warmer seasonal temperatures.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -2 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -12 °C.

Snowier Weather on the Way

After an extended period of benign weather, it looks like its going to get busier over southern Manitoba. A trio of disturbances are poised to bring snow to the region back-to-back-to-back over the next few days.

GDPS 10m Wind Forecast valid 12Z Thursday March 9, 2023
An inverted trough is forecast to develop and linger over the Red River Valley, bringing a prolonged period of light snowfall.

Before it all begins, though, Winnipeg will see a cool but pleasant day. Temperatures will climb close to the -10 °C mark with increasing cloud cover through the day. Winds won’t be too bad, either, persisting out of the northeast near 20 km/h. The region will see cloudy skies tonight with a low in the mid-minus teens.

The action begins tomorrow in what is, at the end of the day, a bit of a complicated setup.

The simplest explanation of what’s going to happen over the next few days is this. The complex evolution of a multi-circulation vortex over western Canada will result in the development of an inverted trough over southern Manitoba on Wednesday. This feature will bring light snow northwards out of the U.S. into the region through the day. The inverted trough will linger over the region while another disturbance passing through the U.S. pushes more moisture northwards on Thursday. As it moves into the trough, more light snow will fall over southern Manitoba into Friday. Following that, a clipper system will develop over southern Alberta on Saturday morning and race eastwards across the southern Prairies. This will bring another organized band of snow — perhaps the heaviest of them all — to the Red River Valley on Sunday.

Between each of these features, lingering flurries or light snow will likely persist across the region.

Snowfall totals by Sunday night will be highly variable across the region with amounts of 10 to 25 cm possible in Winnipeg across the three events. Localized accumulations could end up being higher, though, and of most concern will be areas near the western escarpment of the Red River Valley. The persistent upslope flow on the western side of the inverted trough will enhance snowfall near the escarpment. In those areas, there is the potential for as much as 20 to 40 cm of snow over the next several days.

The snow won’t all fall at once; it will be through multiple events — maybe none of which are particularly bad. But the prolonged nature of the event will mean that it will slowly pile up across the region.

Temperatures will be pleasant, though as daytime highs warm up into the near-seasonal -5 to 0 °C range with overnight lows of -5 to -10 °C.

This is a complex weather setup consisting of multiple events over several days. The forecast may change. One of the biggest uncertainties will be how well the inverted trough is able to establish with a strong Arctic High over the northern Prairies and how much dry air will be ingested from it and diminish snowfall amounts. But be sure to keep an eye on the updated ECCC forecasts and for any alerts that may be issued such as special weather statements or snowfall warnings in the coming days.

Long Range Outlook

Near-seasonal temperatures will continue next week with a bit of sun likely showing up to start the week. Some more flurries look possible mid-week as temperatures nudge warmer.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -3 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -13 °C.