Monday, 27 February 2012

Mix of Sun and Snow Over the Next Few Days

     Sunday's storm made a mess of the roads across southern Manitoba. Blowing and drifting snow severely reduced visibility at times. Overall, my forecast was pretty accurate with 2-5 cm around the city of Winnipeg, while closer to 5-10, or even 15 cm along the US Border. Much higher amounts of 10 to 25 cm were reported in many areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan Saturday with the same system.

Snowfall totals with Sunday's storm

South Winnipeg      4 cm
Charleswood          4.4 cm
Steinbach               4.0 cm
Winkler                   14 cm
Altona                     10-15 cm
(Source: A Weather Moment)
Blowing and drifting snow yesterday carved out some nice drifts
Roads are slippery and snow covered
     The next system of concern is a major Colorado Low set to begin developing tomorrow. There lies great uncertainty as to just how far north the system will extend. Therefore, it is a situation of either we get a moderately significant snowfall, or nothing at all.

     Either way, the bulk of the storm will stay to our south in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota. Locally 20-30 cm of snow is not out of the question in those states. That will be associated with strong winds of 40 to 60 km/h locally. Blizzard and winter storm watches and warnings have been issued for much of those areas. This will definintely be the strongest winter storm in the region since last winter. If you have travel plans in those areas over the next couple days, consider postponing or cancelling those plans if it is not absolutely necessary that you go. It will definitely be quite the storm, the one storm that is likely not worth underestimating.

     Back in Manitoba, it is tricky. It likely wont be a major storm for us, though accumulations of 5-10 cm is not out of the question near the US Border. Snowfall amounts will likely decrease sharply the farther north you go. Only 1-3 cm is expected for Winnipeg at this point. Moderately strong winds from the north will likely cause some drifting snow as well. A more detailed forecast will be provided tomorrow.
Current expected track of Colorado Low from Tuesday to Thursday

     Later in the week, yet another system. This time it appears both an Alberta Clipper and Colorado Low could form. These setups are often fairly difficult to predict, and often fool the models. The transfer of energy and moisture from the Colorado Low to the Clipper is often hard to predict. At this point, it appears like we may see about 2-5 or 5-10 cm in most of southern Manitoba Friday, but that could change as the week goes on.


  1. Spectacular day filled with sun, light winds and mild temperatures, and a bit of melting in the sun. Around -2°C in the city this afternoon, though cooler at airport with the snow-covered fields, at around -5°C so far.

  2. Models returning with the idea of a miss for southern Manitoba tomorrow. We may still get some flurries, and it definitely will be cloudier, though not anything significant. Looks like the flurries will be more dominant tomorrow night than during the day as well. Perhaps a cm at most for most areas, though at this point it really looks like just a dusting.

    Steadier snow looks to develop Thursday night and Friday. It doesn't look like a very heavy snow, rather a light or moderate snowfall, keeping accumulations a little lower. 2-5 or 5-10 cm still the forecasts for now. Although as stated in the post, things are uncertain considering we could be talking about 2 systems; a Colorado Low and an Alberta Clipper. Energy transfer between the both is always uncertain this far off, so stay tuned...

  3. Severe thunderstorms, with tornado watches in Kansas and Nebraska this evening! Getting closer, can't wait for our turn! :P Ok maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself, we've got a ways until that. Thunder is possible though as close as southern Minnesota and South Dakota tonight with the snow and rain. Powerful Colorado Low shaping up as we speak, with pressure of 984 mb at its centre in Nebraska early this evening. 20-30 cm still expected in parts of Minnesota, Nebraska and Minnesota along with blizzard conditions.

    Link below for current warnings around North Dakota.

  4. For comparison, 984 mb would be comparable to the pressure in a category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic. (984 mb = 98.4 kPa)

  5. Several tornadoes reported south of the border yesterday and today, from Nebraska/Kansas across to southern Missouri to Illinois and Kentucky. At least 9 or 10 people have been killed so far. More in depth story by following this link:

  6. The system Friday at this point is looking less and less severe for us, though it is still not 100% certain. It appears at this point that the Colorado Low (another one, not the same one as yesterday/today) that is expected to form tomorrow will keep most of its energy to our south and east and affect mainly Ontario and south of the border. We will still get some snow with the Clipper though, but 2-5 cm looks like the best bet at this point.

  7. Working on the February summary tonight, so hopefully I'll have it finished by evening, or tomorrow afternoon at the latest.

    And just how warm actually was this winter? How does this winter rank? I'll have the answers either tomorrow afternoon or Friday morning in a new post. Be sure to check around for that.. :)

  8. Boy if you believe the current model predictions, spring is very close. GFS for instance is showing temperatures approaching double digits by the second week of March, with temperatures approaching 20 C near Windsor in extreme southwestern Ontario. It's been showing a dramatic warm-up in March for some time, so it will be interesting to see if it comes true. Every month since last July has been above normal in temperatures, at this point it appears March will follow that trend.

  9. February summary is finished. You can view it in the ''Monthly Summaries'' tab at the top of the page. I kept it a little shorter than January's summary, as I found January's summary was a little lengthy. I just put what I found was most important to point out.

    As for the current weather talk:
    A rare thunderstorm event impacted southern Ontario last night. Follow the link below for a more detailed story with pics and a video.

    Just copy the link and paste in your browser at the top.

  10. Flurries will begin this evening, and become more organised overnight and tomorrow for the Winnipeg area. Flurries are widely scattered so far this afternoon, especially in the southwest. 2-5 cm in general is expected with this system by tomorrow night, with locally higher amounts of 5-10 cm possible, especially south of the Trans-Canada. Might be needing the snow shovel again..

    Cool down back to seasonal values for the weekend, then at this point it appears like a big warmup for early next week, with temperatures above zero possible.