Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Records Possible Today

A wind warning has been issued for Winnipeg and the Red River Valley for later this morning into part of this afternoon. Very strong south winds are expected. They may be sustained up to 60 km/h at times with gusts as high as 80-90 km/h. This will create some blowing dust at times, especially outside city limits where topsoil on fields may be blown around and reduce visibility locally. When out and about, please keep in mind that the fire risk is very high.

It will also be very warm today - possibly record breaking in fact. Highs around 22-25°C are expected. The old record for Winnipeg is 24.1°C in 2006. It will be a close call... There is also the potential of breaking a record high minimum. The minimum of 11.6°C this morning was above the old record high minimum of 10.4°C in 2006 for today. Whether or not we break the record will depend on how quickly we cool this evening, but I think we've got a very good chance of breaking it. Daily lows above 10°C are very rare for this early in the season, having only occurred on this date or earlier 4 times since 1872 (March 19, 2012; April 14, 2010; April 15, 1931 and April 15, 2006).

Enjoy the warmth while it lasts... While it will remain mild for the remainder of the week, models have consistently hinted at a more significant cool down for next week.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Remaining Mild For Now

Seine River; April 11, 2015
Fabulous day yesterday across southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan! Official high at Winnipeg airport was 22.1°C, a few degrees shy of the old record of 25.0°C in 1968. Hot spot in Manitoba was Bede at 23.3°C (Manitoba Agriculture station). Hot spot in Canada was Estevan, Saskatchewan at 23.4°C!

Cooler today as we remain under a lot of cloud cover. Can't rule out some showers this afternoon and evening. We'll reach mid teens for a high. There will some strong westerly winds this afternoon.

Much sunnier tomorrow, but with strong westerly winds again. We should reach around 13-14°C for a high.

Decent amounts of sunshine on Tuesday. We should manage to reach high teens.

Another warm one on Wednesday. Highs will depend on how much cloud cover there is. If there is enough sun, another 20°C day is likely.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Some Snow Today Then Warming Up

One more chilly day to get through then we'll begin warming up again...

We'll remain cloudy through the day today. We should manage to reach low to perhaps mid single digits before the precipitation moves in this afternoon. Precipitation type is a little tricky. I think it should begin as rain and change to snow not long afterward. Periods of snow will end this evening. Because a lot of this precipitation should fall before sunset, I don't expect much snowfall accumulation. Perhaps 1 or 2 cm at most, but it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of it melted on contact.

Still a lot of cloud tomorrow as a system skirts us to the south. There should be some sunshine though with breaks in the cloud. The warmup also begins tomorrow with a high around 8-9°C possible.

Lots of sun on Thursday with a high in the low teens (10-12°C possible). Northerly winds will increase in the afternoon and evening as a weak push of cooler air moves in. High single digits or close to 10°C for Friday.

The height of the warmth comes on the weekend with highs in the mid teens likely.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A Very Early Spring: The Story of March 2015

From one extreme to the next. That's how March has been like the last few years.

March 13 south Winnipeg - Source: CBC
Similarly to 2010 and 2012, spring arrived much earlier than normal in southern Manitoba this year with April-like temperatures and disappearing snow cover by mid-March. Snow cover disappeared in Winnipeg by March 15, tying with 1995 for 3rd earliest snow melt on record since 1955. In comparison, 2012 had the second earliest melt on record with snow disappearing by March 14. This is in sharp comparison to 2013 and 2014 when snow didn't disappear until April 28 and April 21 respectively.

After a frigid start to the month, temperatures skyrocketed by the second week of March. Record breaking warmth arrived March 14 and 15 with highs in the mid teens, about 15°C above normal. Winnipeg reached 13.2°C on March 14, breaking the old record of 11.4°C in 1981. A high of 14.3°C was achieved the following day, just shy of the old record of 14.4°C in 2012. We could have broken that record if it wasn't for the early day cloud cover. The morning low of 6.7°C that day was the warmest morning low on record for so early in the year since 1953. Previously, the earliest we had a morning low as warm or warmer than that was on March 19, 2012 with a morning low of 16.0°C. A record high minimum for the day was not broken thanks to plummeting temperatures in the evening.

The warmest temperatures during the warm spell were near the US border in general. Morden reached 18.3°C and 17.6°C on March 14 and 15 respectively. These not only obliterated the old daily records but were also the earliest occurrences of temperature over 16°C on record since 1904. Amazingly, the high of 18.3°C on March 14 broke the old 2012 record by 7.1°C!

Seasonal to above seasonal conditions continued for the remainder of March with highs mostly above zero. Three days in the low teens occurred at the end of the month, a fitting end to the 20th warmest March on record since 1872. In the end, 5 days exceeded 10°C in Winnipeg in March, slightly above the normal of 2 days.

The year's first thunderstorms also occurred this March. Isolated thunderstorms developed north and south of Winnipeg with lightning and pea-sized hail on March 30. Thunderstorms are certainly not unheard of in March. In fact, back in March 2012, 6 days reported lightning strikes somewhere in southern Manitoba. Pea-sized hail also fell in Winnipeg on March 27, 2012. Nonetheless, they are unusual. For instance, in Winnipeg specifically, a thunderstorm in March is statistically about a one in eight year event (only 4 thunderstorm days recorded at the airport in March in the last 30 years). No lightning occurred in the city yesterday though, but hail did fall in the south end.

The very first lightning strikes of 2015 in southern Manitoba on March 30