Cooler Weather With More Snow

Plenty of cloud and snow is in the forecast as one low pressure system leaves only to be quickly replaced by another mid-week. Temperatures will also remain cool as a large upper trough keeps the jet stream south and allows cooler Arctic air to spill into the Prairies.

Today will bring mainly cloudy skies to the region as a low pressure system that tracked through the region on Sunday pushes off into eastern Ontario. To start off the morning, widespread flurries in place across the region will taper off as a strong northerly wind of 40-50 km/h develops. Snow will taper off by midday for many locations except for two: those in the lee of Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg.

RDPS 24hr. Accumulated Snowfall in Inches at 10:1 SLR valid 00Z Tuesday October 31, 2017
At a 10:1 snow-to-liquid water ratio, which may be low for the snow coming off the lakes, models suggest close to 10 cm of snow in the lee of Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba

Strong northerly winds align along the basins of each lake this morning and persist all day, and as the colder air moves into the region, bands of lake-effect snow will develop and move southwards off the lake. The areas highlighted in the area above are the most likely to see snow and significant accumulating snow. Snowfall accumulations can be difficult to forecast in these events, but indications are that as much as 10 to 20 cm may fall by the end of the day under the heaviest band of snow. The Lake Manitoba event will taper off in the early evening as a ridge of high pressure moves in and eases the winds, while Lake Winnipeg will persist longer, weakening in the evening and ending overnight.

Aside from the snow, it will be a cool day whose high near -1°C will feel closer to -8 or -9°C with the strong northerly wind. Once the ridge moves into the area in the evening, winds will taper off and temperatures will head towards a low near -8°C under mixed skies.

Tuesday will bring benign weather to the region with mixed skies and temperatures climbing back to a high near -1°C. Winds will pick up out of the south through the morning hours, strengthening to 25 to 35 km/h for the afternoon hours. By evening, more cloud will be spreading across southern Manitoba in advance of the next low pressure system as it tracks across Saskatchewan. The cloud will keep temperatures a bit warmer overnight with lows of around -3°C. Winds will continue out of the southeast at around 20 to 30 km/h.

Wednesday will see the low and its associated area of snow move through the province. In the Red River Valley, snow will begin early in the morning and persist into the evening. As is the case with these early season events, the biggest challenge with this system will be the near-zero temperatures with daytime highs climbing to around 0 or +1°C and how that will affect how much snow accumulates versus melts. The expected snowfall is around 4 to 8 cm, but the actual accumulated amount will be less than that, with roadways likely ending up with a slushy centimetre or two by the end of the day, and grassy areas seeing closer to, but not the full, amount that falls.

Fortunately, winds will taper off in the morning, so visibilities will be as good as they can be with the snow falling. The wind will pick up out of the north in the afternoon into the 20 to 30 km/h range. The cloud cover will likely remain through the night with the potential for a bit of lake-enhanced/effect snow coming off of Lake Manitoba and Winnipeg. Temperatures will dip to a low near -6°C.

The only real uncertainty with this system is how far south it will end up going, and whether or not it will end up too far south to impact our region. The general consensus is that Winnipeg and the Red River Valley will see snow, but we’ll be keeping an eye on how it develops just in case.

Long Range

The remainder of the week doesn’t look much better; Thursday will see any remaining flurries taper off with a continued north wind that makes the high near -1°C feel rather cool. Temperatures will then dip down to the low minus single digits on Thursday night and rebound to just -2 or -3°C on Friday under mostly cloudy skies. Another cold night on Friday night will lead into highs returning to the freezing mark on the weekend, but that’s due to the approach of a mother system that will bring another wintery mix to the region late Saturday into Sunday.

NAEFS 8-14 Day Temperature Anomaly Forecast — Valid November 6-13, 2017
NAEFS 8-14 Day Temperature Anomaly Forecast — Valid November 6-13, 2017

Once that passes by, a significant chill will descend across the Prairies, bringing below-normal temperatures for an extended period, alongside the potential for more snowy weather.

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently 4°C while the seasonal overnight low is -5°C.

Fall Storm Set to Slam Manitoba With Rain, Snow, and Strong Winds

A potent fall storm brewing in Alberta will race eastwards across the Prairies today, strengthening substantially as it does. It will move through Southern Manitoba tonight and tomorrow, bringing rain, snow, and strong winds to the region. As it passes, it will also mark a substantial shift in the large-scale weather pattern that will bring much cooler temperatures to Winnipeg over the next week.

Today will be Winnipeg’s warmest day for the foreseeable future as seasonably mild air moves into the region ahead of the incoming low pressure system from Alberta. Temperatures will climb to around the 9°C mark with light northerly winds this morning switching out of the south for the afternoon. Skies will start off partly cloudy to mixed, but more and more cloud will move through the day, making for mainly cloudy conditions this afternoon.

The winds will strengthen in the evening to around 30 km/h as the low approaches, keeping temperatures mild at around 8 or 9°C well into the night. As the centre of the low moves through shortly after midnight, rain will begin spreading into the Red River Valley. Winds will back to the north shortly after midnight and intensify, reaching 40 gusting to 60 km/h by Thursday morning. At this point, we expect precipitation to remain as rain overnight with temperatures dropping to a low near +3°C; between 5 to 15 mm of rain is likely to fall overnight throughout the Red River Valley, with lower amounts near the U.S. increasing northwards towards Winnipeg and the southern Interlake.

NAM Forecast Precipitation Type and Intensity valid 09Z Thursday October 26, 2017
The forecast rain/snow line at 4 AM Thursday morning will cut through the Parkland and into the Interlake

For those further west in the southwest corner of the province or in the Manitoba Parkland, rain will change to snow overnight with lower amounts of 2 to 5 mm of rain and a dusting of snow in the southwest and higher amounts of 5 to 10 mm of rain and 2 to 4 cm of snow. The exception to the snowfall amounts will the along the Riding mountains and western escarpment, where strong northerly winds will enhance snowfall amounts. Localized accumulations of 10 to 20 cm will be possible in these regions.

NAM Forecast Precipitation Type and Intensity valid 15Z Thursday October 26, 2017
The rain is forecast to completely change over to snow in the Red River Valley by 10AM

Rain will transition to snow – potentially fairly heavy at times – early on Thursday morning in Winnipeg and spread southeastwards quickly through the remainder of the morning. Temperatures will drop to around 0 to +1°C through the morning as the northerly winds further intensify to 50 gusting to 70 km/h with the chance for gusts as high as 80 to 85 km/h. The strong winds will combine with the heavier bands of falling snow to produce poor visibilities in blowing snow. Additionally, road conditions will likely deteriorate through the day, although will be very sensitive to temperature.1 By the end of the day, Winnipeg will likely see around 3-6 cm of accumulated snow, however it may end up a little more, or a little less, depending on how much manages to melt.

NAMNEST Forecast 10m Wind Speed valid 18Z Thursday October 26, 2017
Widespread strong winds will be in place across southern Manitoba and the Dakotas

The strong winds will begin to diminish late in the afternoon, and then gradually taper off to around 20 km/h by Friday morning. The snow will ease to a few flurries in the afternoon and taper off by evening. Temperatures will dip to a low near -4°C.

So in summary, for Winnipeg, winds will intensify tonight to 40 gusting 60 km/h as rain moves into the region. Winnipeg can expect anywhere from 5-15 mm of rain tonight, but will switch over to snow early Thursday morning as winds increase further to 50 gusting 70 km/h. The gusty winds will persist through much of Thursday with moderate snow through the morning tapering off to flurries in the afternoon. Snowfall accumulations will be very sensitive to temperature, but it looks like the most likely outcome will be between 3-6 cm of snow, but should more intense bands develop over the city, up to 10 cm could pile up.

Friday will be comparatively pleasant, but cool. Winds will continue to taper off with partly cloudy skies and temperatures climbing to a high near +3°C. The clouds will clear out for Friday night as temperatures drop to a low in the -6 to -8°C range.

Long Range Outlook

The weekend looks like a bit of a mixed bag. Saturday will be cool but pleasant with a high near 5°C, light winds and fairly sunny skies. Things change on Sunday, though, as another low pressure system pushes into the province, bringing more cloud and the chance for more rain or snow.

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently 7°C while the seasonal overnight low is -3°C.

  1. If temperatures remain closer to +1°C, roads will likely remain in relatively good shape until the freeze occurs on Thursday night, but if it dips closer to the freezing mark, area highways may become a bit slick through the afternoon.
GFS Forecast Precipitation Type/Rate valid 06Z Thursday October 26, 2017

Mild Fall Temperatures On The Way Out

The first half of the week will bring seasonal conditions Winnipeg, but the writing is on the wall: a big pattern shift will usher in significantly cooler conditions for the second half of the week and into the next.

The cooler weather begins to arrive today in Winnipeg, drawn southwards across the province behind a low pressure system that passed through overnight. A few remaining showers and cloud will clear out this morning, leaving Winnipeg with mixed skies for the afternoon. Winds will be fairly breezy out of the northwest as a ridge of high pressure builds into the province; light morning winds will build to 40 gusting 60 km/h for the afternoon. Temperatures today will barely budge from this morning, remaining steady near 6 or 7°C through the day. Expect partly cloudy skies overnight with winds diminishing to around 20-30 km/h and a low dipping down to the freezing mark.

Tuesday will be a pleasant and crisp fall day with plenty of sunshine and a high near 9°C in Winnipeg. Winds will be much calmer out with a morning breeze out of the northwest at around 20 km/h diminishing to light midday. Some cloud will spread into Winnipeg later in the afternoon, announcing the approach of the low that will usher in a dramatic change in the general weather pattern.1 Temperatures will drop to a low near 4°C overnight as northwesterly winds move back in and usher cooler air into the region once again.

RDPS 2m Temperature Forecast valid 00Z Wednesday October 25, 2017
A low pressure system moving across northern Manitoba will draw warm air eastwards into the southern half of the province for Wednesday.

Wednesday will be the last day of mild conditions before things take a dive on Thursday. Temperatures will climb to a high near 10°C as skies become cloudy for the afternoon. Northwesterly winds around 15-25 km/h in the morning will taper off to light for the afternoon. As the low pressure system begins pushing into Manitoba in the late afternoon, the chance for showers will increase as an area of rain slumps southeastwards from central Saskatchewan. Temperatures will dip to a low near 2-3°C early Thursday morning as rain moves in overnight.

Long Range Outlook

Thursday looks rather unpleasant with rain likely changing over to snow in the morning as significantly colder air floods southwards behind a strong low moving across southern Manitoba. Temperatures will reach a high in the low single digits with a brisk northerly wind – likely reaching 40-50 km/h – as the snow tapers off in the afternoon.

GFS 850mb Temperature Forecast valid 00Z Thursday October 26 to 00Z Friday October 27, 2017
This animation of 850mb temperatures – approximately 1.5km above the ground – very clearly depicts the colder air moving into the region through the day

The remainder of the week looks quite cool with highs in the low single digits and overnight lows dipping below the freezing mark each night well into next week. The one saving grace will be the cloud cover, ranging from mixed skies to overcast, that will help moderate the temperatures from getting too cold.

This pattern of cooler conditions will continue through much of next week as a persistent west-coast ridge, eastern Canada trough pattern sustains a generally northwesterly flow over the eastern Prairies.

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently 7°C while the seasonal overnight low is -3°C.

  1. Some cloud will likely be around in the Red River Valley through much of the day as it comes off of Lake Manitoba and Winnipeg in the northwest wind. Whether Winnipeg sees any of it will depend on the exact wind direction, but it will likely remain outside the city.

Potent Fall Storm Brings Strong to Severe Winds to Winnipeg

Strong to severe westerly winds will be out in full force today behind a cold front now pushing into Ontario. These winds are being created by a very potent fall storm over Northern Manitoba which is also bringing up to 25 cm of snow and blizzard conditions to the most northern regions of the province. The remainder of the week looks beautiful, however, with temperatures rebounding quickly back to well above-seasonal values.

Early morning cloud will quickly push eastwards this morning as very strong westerly winds move into the Red River Valley behind a cold front racing eastwards into Ontario. While skies will be sunny, it won’t be a particularly pleasant day out there as winds quickly increase to 50-60 km/h with gusts of 85-95 km/h. Winds will be just a bit lighter to the south of Winnipeg and a bit stronger to the north of Winnipeg. There will be a few areas that may see wind gusts in excess of 100 km/h: areas just downwind of the Riding Mountains and the Turtle Mountains, the Manitoba Lakes (Manitoba, Winnipegosis, Winnipeg), and across portions of the southern Interlake. These strong to severe winds will diminish quickly in the evening hours as temperatures cool and the low pushes off to the northwest.

RDPS Forecast 10m Wind Speed valid 18Z Wednesday October 18, 2017
Strong to severe (darker purple, red) westerly winds will move across southern Manitoba today behind a cold front associated with a potent fall storm moving through northern Manitoba.

All in all, about 9-12 hours of strong to severe winds are expected, so it will not be surprising if damage to buildings occurs. While the sustained winds may be below the EC³ warning criteria, once winds reach the 60 km/h, the stress incurred on buildings across numerous hours can cause structural failures. Hopefully the worst will just be some missing shingles, but recalling the May 18, 2015 wind storm, significant damage can occur with gusts to 90+ km/h. In that storm, winds were over 50 km/h for 20 hours, which we won’t see this time, but the strongest winds occurred in a 6-hour stretch where winds were maintained in excess of 60 km/h. While this isn’t the same storm, and thus we can’t expect the same outcome, it’s entirely possible that we may see damage that looks familiar.

So, other than the wind, temperatures will fall to around 13°C today as cooler air surges in from the northwest. That said, I don’t think there’s any room for complaints when temperatures remain above-seasonal behind a cold front in October. Lows will dip down to around 3°C with light winds and just a few clouds.

Tuesday will be just a tad breezy by comparison, as another warm front pushes into the region and brings southerly winds of 20 gusting to 40 km/h. Temperatures will climb to a high near 18°C under partly cloudy skies. Winds will remain out of the south at 20-30 km/h on Thursday night as skies become mixed and temperatures dip to a low near 8°C.

GDPS Forecast 2m Temperature Anomaly valid 00Z Saturday October 21, 2017
Temperatures will climb around 15°C above seasonal values on Friday as another surge of very mild air pushes through the province.

Friday will be a late-season “scorcher” in Winnipeg. Despite mixed skies, temperatures will soar to a high near 21°C on Friday afternoon. While we probably won’t be challenging the record high of 23.9°C set in 1958, it may end up coming close if we get enough sunshine. Winds will once again be in place out of the south at 30-40 km/h with some gustiness on top. Expect a low near 13°C on Friday night with winds continuing out of the south to southwest and increasing cloudiness.

Long Range

A second low pressure system will move through Friday night into Saturday, bringing more cloud, cooler temperatures, and a slight chance of showers on Saturday afternoon. While there may be some clearing on Saturday evening/night, more cloud is expected to move in on Sunday ahead of the next low pressure system cross the Prairies. Temperatures will remain above-seasonal throughout the weekend, but after a cold front pushes through on Sunday evening, a west to northwesterly flow will set up for the next few days, bringing seasonal temperatures back to the region.

The extended forecast looks relatively dry, but one wildcard is Saturday and Sunday. Overall, it seems models have having a hard time resolving exactly what kind of low will move through the region, the timing of it, and how much precipitation it will produce. Some models produce little rain with the low coming through — the GFS has essentially no precipitation for much of the Red River Valley — others, such as the GDPS, produce as much as 10-15 mm of rain. The solutions seem to be flipping around quite a bit right now, so it’s hard to pin down exactly what to expect. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on it and have more details in Friday’s forecast.

Otherwise, next week looks like it will bring variable cloudiness to Winnipeg and the Red River Valley with the occasional chance for some rain showers.

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