Snow For Much of Southern Manitoba Today Into Tomorrow

A system moving through the Northern Plains of the United States will push snow northward across the international border into much of Southern Manitoba, with warning-level amounts in some areas close to the International Border.

Heavy snowfall occurring in Montana is pushing east-northeastward into southeastern Saskatchewan and Southern Manitoba. Heavy snow giving near zero visibilities at times is expected to develop in southern regions near the international border, including the Melita, Pilot Mound, Morden/Winkler, and Emerson regions. Environment Canada has issued Snowfall warnings for the Melita and Pilot Mound/Kilarney regions, with 10cm of snow expected in areas close to the border, and the potential for amounts in excess of 15cm in upslope snowfall areas of Pilot Mound. All sorts of warnings exist for most of North Dakota, so anybody who has to travel south today should take extra precautions and prepare for extremely poor driving conditions.

For Winnipeg, the snow will push into the city mid-to-late afternoon and stick around for 18-24 hours. Thoughts based of previous model runs would have been for just some light non-accumulating snow, even taking into account that all models were keeping this system too far south. The new GEM-REG run has, however, pushed the system (in my opinion, correctly) further North and is bringing more substantial snow into the Winnipeg area.

GEM-REG 24H Cumulative Precipitation valid 12Z Tuesday 21 Dec. The heavier snow expected along the International Border and through North Dakota is the dark-ish green shading, indicating 7-10mm of liquid equivalent precipitation. This covers Monday morning to Tuesday Morning.

While we won’t deal with the extremely poor traveling conditions of our neighbours to the south, we will see accumulations of 2-4cm when all is said and done. South of the city, amounts of 5-10cm should pile up. The bulk of the precipitation will pull out of the province overnight, however there will be a weak trough that hangs back through the RRV and southeastern Manitoba that will continue to produce light snow through much of the day tomorrow.

GEM-REG 24H Cumulative Precipitation valid 00Z Wednesday 22 Dec. This shows the precipitation expected to occur Monday evening through Tuesday evening. Light snow, without significant accumulation, is expected to occur through much of southern Manitoba through the day on Tuesday.

After this system, we should have a fairly pleasant rest of the week, with highs just above or near -10C and lows in the low minus teens.

Another small point of significance to this event is that it may be one of Winnipeg’s last chance to break the record for wettest year ever. The current record is 723.6mm from 1962. We currently sit in 3rd wettest year ever at 716.0mm, with second place only a hair ahead of us at 718.4mm (which was from 1953). We need only another 7.7mm to break the record, and this system, in a worst case scenario could give us something in the 4-6mm range.

Worth noting, is that in many of the wettest years ever, a major flood did not occur in the following spring; just shows how the melt rate and spring precipitation are the most crucial aspects in our annual floods.

More Snow On The Way For Southern Manitoba

A system tracking across the Northern Plains of the United States will bring another shot of snowfall to Southern Manitoba tonight and tomorrow.

A low pressure system in Montana has pushed snow into most of North Dakota and is beginning to push the snow northwards towards the International border.  Snow should be slow to start this evening, with a dry northeast flow undercutting the moisture pushing up into Southern Manitoba, but by mid-to-late evening, the snow should have pushed all the way up to Winnipeg.

12Z GEM-REG Model Output Valid 12Z Sunday Morning (12H QPF)

Residents in Winnipeg can expect to see close to 5cm of snow fall on their freshly plowed streets, while areas closer to the border, such as Morden, Gretna, Altona, and Steinbach, will see closer to 7-10cm tonight.  The show will be lighter tomorrow, with only another 2-4cm falling in most areas.  Current indications are that this event won’t deliver warning-level amounts of snow; however people near the U.S. border will want to keep an eye on what Environment Canada does.

As the system moves out on Sunday, a concern again will be lake-effect snow flurries.  The sudden onset of cold weather is allowing the lakes to produce heavy flurries giving near-zero visibilities at times.  The exact location is too early to tell, however it looks like Winnipeg may be spared from them, with a more northerly wind expected behind the system.

After this, cold weather will return until mid-week, when it looks like there is another chance for snow.

Drive safe!

First Major Snowfall For Southern Manitoba

Residents of Southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba are getting the snow shovels out today after an Alberta clipper brought significant snowfall to many areas in those regions.  Across southern Manitoba, many highways were closed due to the event.

Snow falls in the Osborne Village area of Winnipeg on Thursday night.  Photo ©2010 Brad Vrolijk, taken on an iPhone with Instagram.

While the low pressure system that brought snow to Southern Manitoba yesterday through last night has moved out, lake-effect snow flurries continue to affect some areas of the Red River Valley.Environment Canada has issued special weather statements outlining the amount of snow many areas received.  Across west-central Manitoba, along the Trans-Canada Highway, and through much of the Red River Valley, snowfall accumulations as of Friday morning are in the 10-20cm range:

Selected storm total snowfall amounts

Dauphin                             17 cm
Gilbert Plains                      20 cm
Brandon                             10 cm
Roblin                              12 cm
Rivers                              11 cm
Winnipeg                            10 cm
Oakbank                             10 cm
Pinawa                              12 cm
Grand Rapids                        14 cm
Wilson creek                        18 cm
Wasagaming                          15 cm
Fisher Branch                       12 cm
Portage la Prairie                  10 cm
Beauséjour                          12 cm
Morden                               5 cm

While the storm has moved out, gusty northwest winds have moved in.  Temperatures should drop into the low (high?) teens, about the −10 to −12 degree C range, by this afternoon with an arctic air mass moving in behind the clipper.  This cold air is also producing lake effect snow.


This is resulting in narrow bands of flurries through small segments of the Red River Valley.  Winnipeg has seen fairly continuous flurries through Friday morning, and has already had another 2-3cm of accumulation from them.  They should move out of the Winnipeg area this afternoon as the winds become more northerly, however travellers should be aware for the potential of heavy snow along the Trans-Canada Highway to the west and east of Winnipeg.
We will see temperatures plummet tonight to below −20 degrees, bringing us our first true winter night of the season.  Things should warm up a bit for Sunday, when there’s a good chance that more snow will push into Southern Manitoba as a system heads east-northeast out of Montana.  

12Z GEM-REG 48H Output (valid 12Z Sunday Morning), 3hr QPF & MSLP 

Current indications are that this system could deliver another 4-8cm of snow, however the exact amounts will be a lot clearer once the system is closer to us and more developed.

One last note, is that the wind chill this afternoon will be about −24; well below the actual temperature, so be sure to throw on an extra layer of clothing and a scarf to keep warm if you need to be out and about.
That’s all for now!  Stay warm and drive safe.

An WC:M Update and Snow For Winnipeg

Just a short update, somewhat unrelated to the weather.  I’m away on work travel right now so I haven’t had too much to look at the weather.  I just quickly wanted to say that I’ve begun to make some improvements to the Weather Central: Mobile site.  I have added all sites through the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, as well as improving the colour coding for the warning/watch banners.  I plan on doing quite a few neat little things with the site over the winter, so stay tuned.

Onto Winnipeg’s weather.  Just briefly, today should have scattered flurries, except for areas in the lee of the lakes, where lake effect snow should result in locally heavy accumulating snow bands.  This will be of particular note if you need to travel on the Trans-Canada Highway near the Portage la Prairie region.  The snow will taper off overnight as the winds swing back around to the southeast ahead of the next system coming in.

All current indications are that this “Alberta Clipper” of sorts will provide Winnipeg with it’s first major snowfall of the season.  Currently, it looks that all of the precipitation will fall as snow, with accumulations closing in on the 10cm mark.  This event should start late Thursday, and taper off by mid-morning on Friday at the latest.

Get your snow shovels ready!