Warming up This Week in Winnipeg

It will be a cloudy week in Winnipeg as temperatures climb back towards the freezing mark.

RDPS 2m Temperature Forecast valid 21Z Wednesday January 24, 2024
Warmer temperatures will spread across the southern Prairies this week.

With the Polar Vortex retreating into the High Arctic, a zonal flow will develop across the Prairies this week. Mild Pacific air will spread across the region, sending daytime highs climbing back to near- or above-freezing values. Like many warm pushes deep in winter, this warmer weather will be accompanied by plenty of cloud cover.

Today will be the transition day towards the warmer conditions in the Red River Valley. Southerly winds will strengthen through the day as a ridge of high pressure shifts to the east. By the evening, temperatures will climb to around -5 °C with winds up to 30 gusting 50 km/h. There may be areas of blowing snow in the open valley, but warmer temperatures and lighter winds than Saturday should make it less of a hazard compared to what the region saw on Saturday.

Skies will stay cloudy with a chance of light snow or freezing drizzle tonight with temperatures hovering around -5 °C and southerly winds continuing. The risk of freezing drizzle could continue into the morning.

On Wednesday, conditions will stay steady until a trough moves into the region midday. Winds will ease as it moves in and temperatures will warm close to the freezing mark in the afternoon. Temperatures will dip back down to around -5 °C on Wednesday night with a chance of light snow.

The tail end of the work week will offer benign weather: mainly cloudy skies, daytime highs near -2 °C, and overnight lows near -5 °C on Thursday night and near -10 °C on Friday night. No notable precipitation look likely for either day.

Long Range Outlook

Heading into the weekend, the mild conditions will continue with highs in the -5 to 0 °C range and light southerly winds. The clouds may break up more, though, allowing glimpses of sunshine both Saturday and Sunday.

Heading into next week, the mild weather will continue with a chance that daytime highs could climb above freezing. As a bonus, it looks like more sunshine is possible than the region will see this week.

Forecasts show no notable snowfall events through next week.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -13 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -23 °C.

Cold Weather Lasts Through the Week

It will be a cold week in Winnipeg with below-seasonal temperatures and variable cloudiness.

RDPS 2m Temperature Forecast valid 12Z Thursday January 18, 2024
Although the Polar Vortex will move off to the east, cold air will linger across the Prairies through the week. In an unusual twist, it will briefly warm up in northern Manitoba as Atlantic air wraps westwards over the eastern Arctic and into the region.

The Polar Vortex will sit over eastern Canada this week with a cold trough hanging westwards across the Prairies. As a result, much of the region will see below-seasonal temperatures; fortunately, the ruthless cold that was entrenched over the western Prairies will moderate away from those extreme values.

In Winnipeg, the city will see more light snow today with skies on the cloudier side through Wednesday. Daytime highs will climb into the -15 to -20 °C range with west-northwest winds of 20 to 30 km/h. The snow won’t accumulate too much; the city may see a few centimetres accumulation over the next several days.

Overnight lows will mainly sit in the -25 to -20 °C range. Winnipeg and area will likely see more sunshine in the second half of the week.

Long Range Outlook

Heading into the weekend, the Polar Vortex is forecast to finally shift eastwards out to the Atlantic, weakening the cold air over the Prairies and allowing a more progressive pattern to develop. Upper ridging will build into the Prairies over the weekend, spreading milder air into the western Prairies.

This will help bring temperatures back to seasonal values through the weekend, although will likely bring cloudy skies back to the region.

Next week, skies will continue on the cloudier side, but temperatures will climb to above-seasonal values. Daytime highs will climb back towards the -5 °C mark with lows close to -10 °C.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -13 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -24 °C.


More Snow on the Way, Then the Bitter Cold Arrives

Another disturbance moving through Manitoba mid-week will bring another swath of accumulating snow to the region. Behind it, bitterly cold Arctic air will sweep into southern Manitoba.

ECMWF Total Snowfall Forecast valid 12Z Tuesday January 9 to 00Z Friday January 12, 2024
Many areas will see 10 to 20 cm of snow by the time it tapers off on Friday. The snow will likely be fluffier than this model image depicts and amounts could end up slightly higher than depicted here.

For today, a weak ridge of high pressure moving through the region will bring near-seasonal highs in the mid-minus teens to the Winnipeg area. Light southerly winds will pick up to around 20 km/h in the afternoon, bringing wind chill values of -20 to -30 to the region.

The next weather system of note will begin to push into the region tonight. Cloud cover will spread across southern Manitoba as it pushes a warmer air mass into the region. Light snow will spread across southwest Manitoba overnight and begin to push into the Red River Valley early Wednesday morning. Temperatures will dip into the -15 to -20 °C range in the evening and then warm up closer to -10 °C by Wednesday morning.

2 to 5 cm of new snow is likely through much of western Manitoba tonight.

On Wednesday, the low pressure system will drop to the southeast with an inverted trough that lingers to the northwest in its wake. This will support a slow-moving area of light snow that lingers over the Red River Valley through Wednesday and into Thursday. Accumulation rates will be light, but because the snow will linger for a long time, it will result in one of the larger snowfalls of the season.

From Wednesday morning to Thursday morning, 5 to 10 cm of new snow is likely in the Red River Valley, but that number increases into the 10 to 20 cm range to the northwest in parts of Western Manitoba, focused around the escarpment west of Lake Manitoba and Winnipegosis.

Temperatures will reach a high near -7 °C in Winnipeg on Wednesday, but a cold front will sweep through on Thursday night and mark the beginning of plummeting temperatures.

The snow will taper off later Thursday as northwest winds increase into the 20 to 30 km/h range. Temperatures will fall through the day, reaching close to -20 °C by evening. The cloud cover will begin to break up overnight as temperatures head to a low in the -20 to -25 °C range.

On Friday, the cold air will settle into the region as a large Arctic High begins to push across the Prairies. Winnipeg’s temperatures will climb back into the -20 to -15 °C range with northerly winds hovering around 20 km/h. Skies will likely be on the cloudier side as a glancing disturbance spreads more cloud cover across the southern Prairies.

That cloud will prevent temperatures from dropping too much on Friday night with lows back to around -25 °C.

Long Range Outlook

The Arctic High will continue to slump eastwards across the Prairies this weekend, eventually clearing skies. Temperatures will plummet into the -20s this weekend with a chance of overnight lows dipping to around the -30 °C mark.

The region could end up contending with wind chills below -35 on the weekend.

A push of warmer temperatures will move through the Prairies early next week, but guidance suggests that it will occlude southwards well before it reaches Manitoba. A small moderation in temperatures is possible early in the week, followed by another push of colder temperatures.

Little accumulating snow is in the forecast for next week, but flurries will be possible across several days.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -13 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -24 °C.

Fresh Snow Leads Into Cooler Weekend

A passing disturbance will bring fresh snow to southern Manitoba today, then colder temperatures will begin to creep into the region.

RDPS 24hr. Snowfall Accumulation Forecast valid 18Z Saturday January 6, 2024
A disturbance passing through southern Manitoba will bring 2 to 5 cm of snow to start the weekend.

The slow march of much colder Arctic air has brought it southwards this week. Temperatures have fallen into the -30s in the northernmost Manitoba, but this weekend’s passing disturbances will stall the southerly push. Instead, the cold air will fortify over the southern Arctic while a push of milder air across the southern Prairies brings fresh snow.

For today, a cold front will slump into southern Manitoba and then stall as a different system passes to the south through North Dakota. As it moves into the region, an area of snow will spread through WestMan towards the Red River Valley. A few flurries are possible this afternoon in Winnipeg, but the organized snow won’t likely arrive until the evening. Daytime highs will sit in the -10 to -5 °C range through much of southern Manitoba.

Snow will move through the Red River Valley tonight with 2 to 5 cm accumulation by Saturday morning. The cloud cover and stalling of the cold front will help keep it comparatively mild with lows near -10 °C.

On Saturday, the snow will taper off in the morning as the disturbance moves off to the east. Cloud cover will linger through the day as the cold front begins to push southwards again. Temperatures will hover around the -10 °C mark with northwest winds in the 20 to 30 km/h range.

The region will see cloudy to partly cloudy skies on Saturday night as a weak ridge moves across. Lows will dip into the -20 to -15 °C range as the winds ease.

Another disturbance will begin working towards the region on Sunday, spreading more cloud back into the region. The Winnipeg area will see a chance of flurries develop through the day as organized snow pushes into western Manitoba. It will be a cool day with highs in the -15 to -10 °C range.

This system will likely give 2 cm or less of new snow to the region as it spreads eastwards overnight. Temperatures will dip down into the -20 to -15 °C range on Sunday night with cloudy skies as the snow tapers off.

Long Range Outlook

A major pattern change is coming up next week: a major outbreak of Arctic air over the Prairies. It will begin to drop southwards into Alberta early in the week and help spin up a potent low pressure system that will track eastwards across the Prairies mid-week. It could bring a widespread 5 to 10 cm to much of the Prairies, followed by moderate to strong northwest winds and plummeting temperatures.

GDPS 2m Temperature Forecast valid 12Z Friday January 12, 2024
An outbreak of bitterly cold Arctic air will spread into the Prairies by the end of next week.

The latter half of next week will be marked by the settling of Arctic air across the eastern Prairies. Daytime highs in the -20s will be possible with a chance that overnight lows could dip below -30 °C. It will be an abrupt transition to dangerous cold in a winter that hasn’t seen it yet.

Be sure to get ready for it; get out the long johns, neck warmers and/or face coverings, get an emergency kit ready for your car, and consider seeing if you can help out any local shelters that may need resources to help with the upcoming cold.

Today’s seasonal daytime high in Winnipeg is -13 °C while the seasonal overnight low is -23 °C.