A Breezy Break from the Arctic Chill

Winnipeg will see variable cloudiness over the next several days with breezy conditions while the city is given a brief reprieve from unseasonably cold temperatures.

Today will be a considerably more pleasant day in Winnipeg than yesterday was, with a much warmer high near -8°C this afternoon as a weak low moving into the Interlake ushers a seasonal air mass into the region. Winds will be a bit breezy out of the south this afternoon, strengthening to around 20 to 30 km/h and producing wind chill values in the -15 to -20 range. This will still be much more pleasant than the -35 wind chills Winnipeg saw for much of Thursday. Winnipeg should see plenty of sun through the first half of the day, but clouds will begin moving into the region in the afternoon as the low approaches, with skies becoming cloudy by mid-afternoon. Expect cloudy skies on Friday night with just a slight chance of some non-accumulating light snow. Winnipeg should see a low near -15°C.

Saturday will see skies clear out early in the morning with temperatures recovering to a high near -10°C. Winds will be breezy out of the west at around 30 gusting to 50 km/h, creating wind chill values near -20. The Arctic front will slump back southwards on Saturday evening, bringing more cloud to the region as temperatures drop to a low near -21°C. There will be just a slight chance of some non-accumulating light snow on Saturday night.

GDPS 2m Temperature Forecast with Annotations valid 12Z Sunday February 18, 2018
Winnipeg will find itself north of the Arctic front once again on Sunday morning.

With Winnipeg behind the Arctic front once again on Sunday, temperatures will be well below seasonal with a high near -17°C. Any cloud left in the region should clear out midday, and winds will be out of the north at around 10 to 15 km/h, creating wind chill values near -25. With clear skies much of Sunday night, temperatures will drop to a well below-seasonal low near -25°C.

Long Range Outlook

In what is becoming a notable trend, Winnipeg’s long-range forecast continues to lack any significant precipitation, with nothing more than a trace of precipitation forecast in the next 7-10 days. Passing systems will bring some cloud to the region, but generally speaking, things will remain dry. Below-normal temperatures will likely persist into the middle of next week, but then a trend towards more seasonal temperatures is expected.

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently -8°C while the seasonal overnight low is -18°C.

Slow, Windy Climb In Temperatures Will Come Crashing Back Down

Winnipeg will embark an on a windy climb to well above-seasonal temperatures by Wednesday, but the warmth will be short-lived as Arctic air comes crashing back southwards for the second half of the week.

Winnipeg will see cool temperatures today under sunny skies as a ridge of high pressure moves off to the southeast and out of the region. Winds will be out of the southwest at 20 km/h for much of the day, then strengthen to 30 km/h this evening. That wind will produce wind chill values of -25 to -30, so that cold will have a bit of bite to it. Skies will remain mostly clear tonight with winds slowly climbing to 40 km/h overnight.

Tuesday will bring partly cloudy skies to Winnipeg and milder temperatures, but the wind will be the main story for the day. As the pressure gradient tightens up between a low pushing southwards out of the Arctic and the departing high, winds will strengthen further on Tuesday to as high as 50 gusting 70 km/h out of the south. Those winds will make the day’s high near -6°C a whole lot less pleasant than it would otherwise be. Some local blowing snow is also possible, but likely in the usual trouble spots in rural portions of the Red River Valley. The cloud will thicken up on Tuesday night with temperatures dipping to just 8 or 9°C.

Windy conditions will be in place for Winnipeg on Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday will bring the warmest conditions of the week as very mild Pacific air moves through the region and pushes temperatures up to around -1°C. The warmth will be short-lived though; winds will shift out of the northwest in the afternoon as the first of two cold fronts swings through. The cold front associated with the Pacific air mass will push through midday, followed by the Arctic cold front in the evening. This will send temperatures from their high of -1°C sometime Wednesday morning plummeting to a low near -26°C on Thursday morning. Wind chill values will also begin to approach the -40 mark on Wednesday night, so extreme cold warnings may make another appearance across the region.

Other than the temperatures, Winnipeg will see cloudy skies on Wednesday with a slight chance of flurries in the afternoon, after the Pacific cold front swings through. That slight chance will continue through the evening hours. No notable accumulations are expected.

Long Range Outlook

The overall long-range pattern continues to be dominated by the position of the polar vortex. With the passage of Wednesday’s system, it will shift westwards from Baffin Island towards Southampton Island, shifting the core of coldest air into the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, along the western shores of Hudson Bay. As long as the polar vortex remains in that location, colder-than-seasonal weather will be the norm as the vortex maintains a northwesterly flow aloft that makes it easy to tap into all the cold air and spread it southwards over the Prairies.

The polar vortex will remain anchored over Southampton Island for much of next week with the Prairies seeing occasional weak systems rotate through along its southern flank.

Early indications are that temperatures may return to above-seasonal late this week as another low pressure system moves through the region, bringing with it a chance for some accumulating snow, but then the cold air crashes back southwards behind the low. The colder air looks like it will remain in place for much of next week.

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently -8°C while the seasonal overnight low is -19°C.

Windy Wednesday Marks Return of Arctic Air

Moderate northwesterly winds will move through the region today, ushering significantly colder temperatures into southern Manitoba.

Hope you haven’t put the deep freeze gear away yet, Winnipeg, because another Arctic pipeline is about to set up and send substantially colder temperatures back into the Prairies. It all begins today as a cold front slumps southwards through the region behind yesterday’s potent low pressure system, ushering in northwesterly winds of 30 to 40 km/h. These gusty winds may produce some blowing snow through the Red River Valley, but visibility should remain better than it was yesterday at times. Skies will cloud over through the day as temperatures fall to around -19°C. Once the cloud moves in, there will be a chance of flurries but no accumulating snow is expected.

Temperatures will then drop to around -26°C tonight with fairly cloudy skies continuing.

Thursday will see the first of what may end up being many Arctic highs move through the region. Winds will remain light, but temperatures will reach a high of just -20°C under partly cloudy skies. Temperatures will dip to a low near -25°C on Thursday evening.

Skies will head back to being cloudy on Friday as a weak shortwave rolls across southern Manitoba, bringing with it the chance for some light snow. Temperatures will climb to a high near -17°C with light winds. Another Arctic high follows hot on the heels of this disturbance, though, and temperatures are expected to drop towards -30°C on Friday night as skies clear out.

Long Range Outlook

The long-range forecast looks cold, all thanks to the polar vortex.

The polar vortex is expected to be a prominent feature over the eastern Arctic for the next 14 days

Currently relatively week, the polar vortex will intensify over the coming days, shifting southwards from its current location near the Melville Peninsula – north of Hudson Bay – towards Southampton Island and the Kivalliq coastline of Nunavut. As it intensifies and shifts, the overall pattern over the Prairies will shift from the west-east flow that has brought relatively mild temperatures recently to a north-northwest flow that will allow bitterly cold air to work southwards out of the Arctic.

Temperatures over the next two weeks won’t be cold all the time; the occasional system passing through will drag waves of more seasonal air across the Prairies, but the general pattern will support those weak systems quickly being followed by another shot of very cold air.

This pattern is expected to last for the next 7-14 days, and will end when the polar vortex begins losing some of its structure and retreats northwards.

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently -11°C while the seasonal overnight low is -21°C.

Tuesday Storm Sends Winnipeg On A Temperature Roller Coaster

A potent low pressure system moving through Manitoba on Tuesday will send temperatures in Winnipeg soaring, only to crash back down just as quickly. Alongside the warmth, Winnipeg will see something that has been relatively elusive this winter: snow.

A ridge of high pressure over the region today will bring cold and calm conditions to Winnipeg. Under variable cloudiness, temperatures will climb to a well below seasonal high near -17°C. Winds will remain light.

Conditions will begin deteriorating tonight as a potent low pressure system begins pushing eastwards across the Prairies. Temperatures will dip a few degrees in the evening, then climb towards -15°C by Tuesday morning as skies cloud over and winds pick up out of the southeast to around 40 km/h.

Snow will move into Winnipeg early Tuesday morning ahead of an advancing warm front. The heaviest snow will likely fall during the morning rush hour, then gradually taper off into the afternoon. Winnipeg will likely see around 5 cm or so of snow during the day, with amounts increasing into the 15 to 25 cm range across central Manitoba.

Expected snowfall totals Tuesday morning through Wednesday morning

Update on Winds

Winds will be quite strong out of the southeast throughout much of the day, with winds of 40 gusting 60 km/h strengthening to 50 km/h with gusts of 70-80 km/h throughout the remainder of the day. These strong winds combined with falling snow will produce very poor visibilities in blowing snow with the potential for white-out conditions on area highways.


Temperatures will climb quite substantially on Tuesday as the warm front passes and temperatures reach the daytime high around -1 or 0°C. Winds will ease to around 20 km/h as the low passes through the Interlake, then strengthen to 30-40 km/h out of the west-northwest on Tuesday night as the low exits the region.

Skies will remain mostly cloudy with a slight chance of flurries on Tuesday night as temperatures head to a low near -15°C. Northwest winds near 30 km/h may produce some patches of blowing snow on area highways, so be sure to give yourself extra time if you need to travel.

An Arctic high will build into the Prairies behind this system on Wednesday, ushering a colder air mass into the region. Temperatures will continue to fall through Wednesday, reaching -20°C by the evening. Winds will be moderate out of the northwest at around 30 to 40 km/h, likely producing areas of blowing snow with poor visibility on area highways. Skies will see increasing cloudiness with a chance of flurries dropping southwards out of the Interlake. Expect a low near -25°C on Wednesday night.

Long Range Outlook

Unfortunately, the passage of Tuesday’s low marks a transition into a prolonged period of cooler temperatures.

NAEFS 8-14 Day Temperature Anomaly Forecast – Valid February 2 to February 13, 2018

In the wake of this storm, the polar vortex is expected to intensify slightly and drop southwards into Hudson Bay, establishing a large-scale north-northwest flow that will pipe Arctic air southwards into the eastern Prairies. Winnipeg will move into a cold pattern for the remainder of the week with daytime highs near -20°C – or colder – and overnight lows near -30°C.1

This period of colder temperatures is persist for much of next week too, with hints of a brief warm-up as a low passes by mid-week immediately followed by a return to colder conditions. So if you had optimistically put away the deep freeze gear, it’s time to get it back out!

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently -11°C while the seasonal overnight low is -22°C.

  1. While temperatures will be below normal, it won’t be unseasonably cold: most record lows are below -40°C for this time period!