Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Snowstorm Summary

Sprague, Manitoba, by Robin Milne. Pic sent to TWN.
     The heaviest snowfall of the winter paralysed south eastern Manitoba today with up to 20 cm of snow in some locations. This significant snow storm was thanks to a Colorado Low which fed a developing low in North Dakota. Snow began pushing into the province yesterday afternoon, and slowly moved northwards throughout the night. Thanks to temperatures near the freezing mark, the snow was extremely wet, heavy and was sticking to everything creating a fantastic winter wonderland scene as seen in the photo to the right. Snow fell intensely at rates of 2-3 cm/hour in some cases last night.
     Snowfall was even mixed in with some light rain and drizzle at times yesterday afternoon and evening, though did not accumulate to much.
     The next 2 images below summarise snowfall totals in Manitoba, south of the border and in the Winnipeg area:
Snowfall totals in south east Manitoba and south of the border
Winnipeg 2-10 cm               Lancaster, Minnesota 20 cm
Landmark 14 cm                Crookston, Minnesota 15 cm
Beausejour 10-15 cm             Warren, Minnesota 13 cm
Pinawa 11 cm                            Grand Forks, ND 10 cm
                                       Indian Bay 12 cm
                                       Steinbach 21 cm
                                       Woodridge 20 cm
Snowfall totals in the Winnipeg area. Click on image to enlarge.
WPG Airport 2.0 cm
Charleswood 3.8 cm
Downtown 3.0 cm
St. Boniface 6.3 cm
River Park South 9 cm
Oakbank 12 cm

     There was a sharp cut-off in precipitation west of the RRV with little to no snow at all in areas such as Portage, Morden and Carman.

     The storm caused very dangerous driving conditions with numerous collisions, and a few power outages. The storm has also been blamed on a fatal collision near the corner of the Perimeter and Lagimodière where one woman lost her life. Fog, poor visibility, blowing snow and ice combined to create these dangerous highway conditions. It is advised you do not travel tonight unless you absolutely need to. A link to the latest highway conditions can be found under 'MB highway conditions' in my list of links on the right hand side of this blog.

     The extensive snow cover we now have could very well keep our temperatures a little cooler over the next few weeks even with a southerly wind, since snow is all the way down south of the border as well. Of course that cannot be guaranteed. This winter has already been full of surprises. A westerly wind could still keep us warm, thanks to the limited snow cover which still exists in the western RRV. It does not appear things will really begin to cool down until the weekend though, thanks to cloud cover and low pressure system over the next few days. Widespread flurries are possible everyday this week until the weekend, though accumulations should remain minimal.

     It now appears our idea of an early spring in late February or during the first week of March will remain a fantansy.. :(


  1. Next bigger storm to look out for will be on Sunday. It could be another big story, especially the closer to the border you are. It could be quite a snow maker in North Dakota.

    Things will really begin to cool down behind that system, so enjoy these nice temperatures this week.

  2. Sunday's Colorado Low is another uncertainty. It will be a close call for areas Trans-Canada and north. Along the border, it is likely there will be significant accumulations especially the further west you are.

    It is always tough to predict just how far north these types of systems will reach, so we will just have to wait and see at this point.

    Winds look to be a bigger issue with Sunday's storm as opposed to yesterday. Near blizzard conditions will definitely be possible.

  3. Bit more snow today than the 1-2 cm forecasted. Came down very heavily early this afternoon with near zero visibility at times. Measured 3.0 cm here in south end so far today. Snow depth approaching 15 cm now, much higher than the 3 cm snow depth I measured just last Monday. One last band of light snow coming through the city at the moment, then just a chance of scattered flurries tonight.

  4. Scattered flurries/light snow expected again today, especially this morning. It shouldn't amount to as much as yesterday, perhaps 1 or 2 cm at maximum. Sunday is uncertain, though it appears likely the majority of the snowfall will be south of the Trans-Canada and especially in North Dakota. 10-20 cm is possible in parts of North Dakota, while 5-10 cm is possible in Manitoba south of the Trans-Canada and in southwest Manitoba. Closer to 2-5 cm along and north of the Trans-Canada.
    More details and updates to come..

  5. Models remaining quite consistent about Sunday's storm, with the heaviest snow moving from Alberta to Saskatchewan into Montana and North Dakota. Manitoba would still be affected, with current indications pointing at 5-10 cm in most areas, and possible 10-15 cm along the International Border.

    Winds wont be as strong as they will be in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan could be seeing an all-out blizzard tomorrow with 10-20 cm, and winds 60 gusting to 80 km/h!! Winds should remain 30 to 50 km/h here in Manitoba, so blowing and drifting will definitely be possible, although not as bad as out west.

    And already I'm tracking yet another snow storm for Tuesday night and Wednesday next week. This one could be quite a doozy. Again it appears so far that most of the snow will remain just along and south of the US Border, although it still looks like we'll be seeing significant snow (5-10 cm) in southern Manitoba, and strong winds. South of the border, current indications are for 20-40 cm, absolutely incredible.
    Although, remember this is how it looks at the moment, so things can definitely change.

    Get the snowblower or shovel, because you'll need it

  6. If you don't like the snow, you will like the current updates for Sunday and Wednesday.

    Sunday's storm looks like it will stay a little bit further south than originally thought, but we will still get some snow. I'm saying 2-5 cm for the Winnipeg area, and 5-10 cm near the US Border, a little bit less than I was thinking yesterday. Winds will still be an issue of course, so blowing and drifting snow will be a problem for sure.

    Wednesday's storm has been trending further south in the models. It appears at this point that the storm will just graze southern Manitoba along the US Border. Current indications point towards nothing, or 1-3 cm at worst for WPG. Maybe up to 5 cm along the US border, but some models bring barely anything for those areas as well. North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota could see a vicious snowstorm with upwards of 30 cm likely. Winds could be a problem with that system as well. It is still a little early at this point though, so stay tuned for updates.

    Chilly morning out there this morning. It will be a little cooler over the next few days, with possible warming late next week. Although, the general trend for now is seasonal or below the norm.

  7. The forecast for tomorrow has not changed much this afternoon. I'm still predicting about 2-5 cm along the Trans-Canada, and 5-10 cm near the US Border.

    Wednesday is looking more and more like a non-event for southern Manitoba, although stay tuned for updates on the storm since it will be a close one.

    Models are already hinting at possibly another storm next Friday, although it does not look overly significant at this point.

    Wow, has our winter ever turned around! ;)

  8. Many reports of 10-25 cm of snow in parts of Alberta today, the same system which will affect us tomorrow. 15-20 cm reported at Edmonton Int' Airport. Quite the turn around back to winter..

  9. Stormy out there this morning with the drifting snow. Careful on those highways, I can only imagine how bad the visibility would be in those heavier bands of snow. Snow will be on and off throughout the day in the city today, I'm still saying a storm total of 2-5 cm for us, probably closer to the 5 cm. Snow will begin to taper off this evening with sunnier skies tomorrow, although chilly.

    Wednesday's storm still looks like a non-event for southern Manitoba. Winter storm watches have been issued south of the border, including around Minneapolis. Up to 30 cm can be expected there, including around Fargo. Quite the storm!

    Friday's storm looks moderately significant for us. So far, it looks like around a 5 cm event, although it is a little far to draw to conclusions for now.

    Overall, I'm pretty impressed by how models handled today's system. It's nice to finally have had some consistancy.

  10. Very difficult to measure the snowfall today thanks to blowing and drifting snow all day today. Took several measurements in my yard and compared it to yesterday's snow depth. Generally, looks like about 5-6 cm, although I'm lowering that a bit do to snow blowing off of roof at times. So I'm saying about 4-5 cm here in south end for this storm. Still snowing lightly, so still a little bit more to fall, though not much. Snowfall is generally winding down.

    Very slippery out there today, I was out driving today and it's quite the hassle in some areas, especially on residential streets. Lucky I have snow tires :P

    Not much different for Wednesday's forecast, other than the fact that some models bring the storm even further south than what they were showing this morning.

  11. Just how far north the system Wednesday pushes is a little uncertain right now. GEM/GLB show the snowfal scraping southern Manitoba, with 2-5 cm along the US Border, and nothing for Winnipeg.

    NAM shows it all missing us.

    So It's pretty certain Winnipeg wont get much, although areas along the US Border may or may not get brushed with some snow. I'll be tracking the storm, and giving updates on it.

    Blizzard watches and winter storm watches have been issued south of the border, so it definitely will be a big storm south of the border. Avoiding travel there over the next few days is recommended.

  12. Looking more and more certain with the new updates on the models that southern Manitoba will be brushed by the storm in the northern US Plains Wednesday. At this point, 5-10 cm is certainly in the realm of possibility for border communities along the US Border, such as Morden, Emerson and Sprague. Areas north of that will get much less. I'm only seeing about 1-3 cm for the city of Winnipeg at this point. Stay tuned. I'm working on a new post for tonight to replace this old one.