Thursday, 15 March 2012

History in the Making

     Several record highs were smashed in southern Manitoba today. The unofficial high of 14.4°C in Winnipeg today not only smashes an 85 year old record, but it also makes today the second warmest day on record for so early in the year. The only warmer day prior to March 15 was back in 2000, when we hit an amazing 16.5°C on March 6.

      Unofficial records broken so far today:

Location                New Record                     Old Record

Melita                         16.3                             (7.1 in 2003)
Portage                      15.9                             (11.1 in 1886)
Gretna                        15.1                            (10.8 in 2003)
Brandon                     14.9                             (10.6 in 1910)
Winnipeg                    14.4                             (11.1 in 1927)
Pilot Mound                 14.9                            (9.5 in 1999)
Dauphin                      13.7                            (10.0 in 1914)
Sprague                      13.7                            (11.5 in 2009)
Fisher Branch             13.2                            (9.0 in 1999)
Gimli                            12.0                           (8.2 in 1986)
Berens River               10.6                             (7.9 in 1986)

Total of 11 records so far

     Notice how much warmer today was compared to the previous records. Some highs today were as much as 9 degrees warmer than the previous record! Winnipeg surpassed its previous record by 3.3 degrees, while Brandon surpassed theirs by 4.3 degrees.

     Now if you thought today was impressive, wait until you see tomorrow's forecast.

    With a very strong southerly flow pumping in very warm temperatures tomorrow, and abundant sunshine, many areas in southern Manitoba could reach or surpass the 20 degree mark. If we do in fact reach 20°C here in Winnipeg, it would be the earliest we ever hit 20°C in a year. The old record tomorrow of 12.4C back in 1981 also clearly stands no chance.
     Saturday looks a little cooler, although things begin to heat up again Sunday and Monday with temperatures approaching and exceeding the 20C mark. Monday has the potential to be the warmest March day ever in Winnipeg, with the previous record of 23.3°C in potential jeopardy. Some models even show the potential for some thunderstorms around that time, although confidence in that is still uncertain at this point. Stay tuned for updates on the storm potential.


  1. I've now added a thunderstorm forecast to the blog which can be accessed through the 'Thunderstorm Forecast' tab at the top of the page. This forecast will forecast both general-non severe storms, as well as severe storms. On most days, a brief description will be added to accompany the maps. This is the first time I do this, so this year will especially be a bit of a test-run for this new feature. Enjoy :)

  2. My forecast high for today is 20°C, which incredibly is on the low side compared to other public forecasts. Today will be a historical day, especially if we manage to hit the 20 degree mark. It would be the earliest date to hit the 20 degree mark in history.

    Again there will be a lot of high cloud today, which may reduce our chance of hitting 20°C, but we'll have to wait and see at this point. The amount of cloud worries me a bit.

    Thunderstorms are possible Sunday in southern Manitoba as a warm front pushes northwards. The storms would be elevated in nature, therefore lightning, small hail and local downpours would be the main threats. It appears to be a very small risk at this point, therefore it's nothing to get overly optimistic about at this point. Be sure to check the Thunderstorm forecasts tab at the top for updates.

    Monday would be the better chance for storms with the cold front, as the trough moves eastward.

    Sunday could be the warmest March day in history with many models showing highs in the mid twenties across southern Manitoba. The old record high March temperature of 23.3°C in Winnipeg will be within reach.

  3. 16.2°C at my place as of 12:50 PM. Winnipeg Airport already broke today's record at noon! Cloud cover stopping the sharp climb in temperature when it is around, though when that sun bursts out for a bit the temperature skyrockets. Hopefully we can get some more sun to get to 20.

  4. Now 18.6°C at my place, and the sun is finally starting to become more prevelent as cloud diminishes. Hard to say if airport will reach 20 degrees though, even with the sunshine, since the straight south wind isn't overly favourable for good mixing. We'll have to wait and see over the next couple hours.

  5. Looks like the high today at the airport was 19.9°C! Can't believe we were so close to 20°C! As a result, this is not considered the earliest 20°C day, as it needs to be exactly 20.0 or higher. Luckily we still have a chance at 20C Sunday and Monday..

  6. I think my tree is confused on the seasons.

    I noticed today that my maple tree has some seed pods starting to show. Those seed pods always precede the buds. This is the earliest I have ever seen our tree have those seed pods in the 13 years we've lived in Winnipeg. And not early by just a few weeks, this is a full month earlier than usual as normally the pods don't show until around the 3rd week of April. Truely amazing!

  7. Sunday just looks insane for this time of year on the models. Looking at the NAM right now for instance makes me think it's June! The ingredients are there this Sunday for an all-out severe weather and tornado outbreak in south eastern Manitoba! I do have my doubts though we'll see something of that calibre at this time of year, especially considering we've pretty much never even had a thunderstorm ever at this time of year.

    Really, the only thing holding us back on Sunday is a cap. Considering we've never had storms this time of year, it's hard to believe storms would break the cap, though we'll have to wait and see.

    On top of that, temperatures are expected to reach the mid twenties, and the GEM model is even showing temperatures approaching 30 along the US Border. Hmm.. we'll see about that one.

    You'll be sure I'll keep you updated on this severe potential. ;)

  8. 20.6°C at my place in south end currently, even warmer than yesterday thanks to brilliant sunshine. Airport been stuck in a bit more cloud, though that should begin to clear soon. Will have to wait and see if the airport manages to reach 20 as well...

    Tomorrow is tough, cloud cover may reduce our tempratures, though if the sun stays out it could be an all-out summer day in the mid to high twenties. GEM maintains a high of 28 for us tomorrow, which yes definitely seems unrealistic. Looking foreward to tomorrow for sure! Isolated thunderstorms possible tomorrow too. Stay tuned

  9. 19.2°C the high at the airport today, smashing the old record of 12.8 in 1938. Incredible how we broke that record so easily. Again tomorrow is still uncertain, though you'll be sure I'll give updates in the morning.

  10. 21.2°C the high at my place today. Wow did it ever feel surreal today! It felt quite humid, making it feel a lot more like May or even June today. Dewpoints hovered between 15 and 17°C today, amazing! Unfortunately, low cloud accompanied the humidity stabilising our temperature at 20°C all afternoon. Thunderstorms are unlikely as well as a result, although storms are possible in the Interlake and along the Saskatchewan Border, closer to the warm front. Tomorrow is the better day for storms and temperatures in the mid twenties.
    Will be keeping a close eye on tomorrow night as the cold front cuts through this warm and humid air. Some strong storms, and heavy rain are possible so stay tuned for updates on that.

  11. Incredibly warm and muggy out there today! Take it in while it lasts, maybe we'll never have this in March again! Getting awfully close to the all-time March high temperature at the airport today at 22.9°C as of 3 pm. The old all-time record is 23.3, so we don't have very far to go! Humidex close to 28 as well, easily breaking the old all-time March humidex of 18.8!

    23.6C at my place at the moment. There's no words to describe how extreme this weather is!

    Just when you thought that was all, no way! Thunderstorms are likely in most of southern Manitoba this evening with the cold front cutting through this summer air. Storms could be severe locally with main threats being large hail, damaging winds (although already been strong today!), intense lightning, and there is even the risk of isolated funnel clouds or tornadoes. Though that risk is especially south of the border, but can't rule it out here as well.

  12. Line of thunderstorms now developping from a line from Dauphin to Carberry to between Morden and Killarney. These storms are strengthening, no watches or warnings yet, though that could change later. Line continues into North Dakota, with bigger storms now, moving north and reaching Manitoba later this evening.
    I'm afraid I'm gone this evening and wont be able to give updates. That also means I miss these storms :(
    Stay tuned to Rob's blog and A weather moment for updates this evening.

  13. I'll have a summary of events in the past 10 days. You wont believe the amount of records we broke. At least 15 records of all kinda were broken... I'll have that by evening.

    Quite the storm last night! Did anyone get some hail?
    I saw some awesome lightning out the window, unfortunate I didn't get to take pictures. If anyone has pics of the storm they'd like to share, you can send to, and I'll post them on the blog.

    Cooler day today for sure, can feel that chill in the air! yet it's still WELL above normal!