Sunday, 7 April 2013

Snow Today; Cold Continues

     A weak Alberta Clipper will provide more snowfall in southern Manitoba today. Amounts wont be excessive, with totals generally ranging between 2 and 4 cm in southwestern Manitoba and 1 to 3 cm in the RRV and southeastern Manitoba. It should begin to fall in Winnipeg by afternoon. This follows another clipper that dropped about 2 cm on Winnipeg Friday night.

     Snow depth remains generally just over 30 cm in the city right now; a little higher in some spots and a little lower in others. With cold temperatures expected to continue, it will interesting to see how long our winter snow pack will last. I've gathered some stats on when we normally lose our winter snow pack (using 1981-2010 normals):

Normal date that we lose our winter snow pack

On a leap year
On a common year
Depth reaches trace
March 24
March 25
Depth reaches 0 cm
April 1
April 2

     Because this year is a common year (in other words February has 28 days), the normal date that our winter snow pack would reach 0 cm is April 2 (with a standard deviation of 12 days). And just for curiousity, here are the extremes (with records going back to 1955):


Depth reaches trace
Feb 22
(2000 & 1981)
Apr 26
Depth reaches 0 cm
Feb 28
May 3
*1956 and 2000 were leap years

     Only twice had the winter snow pack not reached 0 cm until May (May 3, 1956 and May 1, 1996). Let's hope this year isn't another!

     Cold temperatures are expected to continue all this week with numerous opportunities for overnight lows in the minus teens. Tuesday morning could potentially be the coldest (depending on if a Colorado Low south of the border stays south of us or not) with lows in the mid minus teens possible. Wonder if we'll come close to breaking records in Winnipeg? You can view the April temperature records here.

     And yes a Colorado Low will come close to Manitoba on Tuesday. I will be sure to keep you all updated in the comment section of this post. At this point it looks very likely it will be a miss, but as you all know things can change.

     I'm sorry for being so cruel, but here's a comparison of this time last year to this year! I just find it absolutely incredible how big the difference is. I love how diverse our climate is!

Early April 2012 vs 2013; from budding trees to wintery scenes!
 *Click for an enlarged view so you can read the text


  1. In March I had a poll that asked when you all thought our snow pack would dissapear. In total there were 3 votes; 2 for 'beyond April 11' and 1 for 'April 6 to 11'. Well it looks like the 2 who voted for beyond April 11 win! There's no way all this snow will be gone by the end of this week...

  2. I've corrected the normal date of loss of snow cover after revising the data.

  3. JJ Would you have any clue as to when the snowcover will melt away? I am getting sick of this snowpack. So My guess is the 3rd week of April...

  4. I feel it will continue to be a slow melt and it likely wont be gone for another 2 weeks (that'll be my guess).

    I'm looking foreward for it to go too! I didn't live here in 1996/97 so this is essentially the longest winter I've ever experienced.

    And you've inspired me to create a new poll for when the winter snow pack will dissapear (reach 0 cm). When I made that other poll in March, I didn't think we'd still have so much snow by now!

  5. I've received 3.5 cm at my place today so far, and it's still snowing lightly out there right now. We'll continue to see scattered flurries through the night with not much more accumulation expected.

    Snow depth at my place stands at 31 cm today with maximum drift depth of 58 cm.

  6. Looks likely Winnipeg will drop close to -20°C tonight... Which will be dangerously close to the old record of -21.6°C in 1997.

  7. Today's high of -5 or -6°C was 2 or 3 degrees colder than the normal LOW for this time of year! Sound familiar? Last year we were seeing the complete opposite in March; overnight lows warmer than normal highs... There is hope we'll exceed the freezing mark later this week, but it will still be well-below normal with normal highs reaching 10°C soon.

    Today also marked the 29th straight day with colder than normal temperatures.

    Thank you to you three who participated in the poll!

  8. By the way, is it just me or is there something wrong with the poll? The number of poll results apparently dropped to 1 vote this afternoon after 3 votes this morning. Do you guys see all the 3 votes or just 1? Not sure if it's just my computer or what...

  9. You likely misread the list, I was the only one who voted you likely saw the number of days left to vote when it was at 3. That's what I think...

  10. There were 3 votes at one point... Must just be my computer creating imaginary vote results! Thanks for the feedback Mike :)

    By the way, I just received my cocorahs rain and snow gauge today so I hope to join cocorahs soon. However, I'll have to wait until the ground thaws before I can actually install it because putting a pole in the ground while the ground is still so frozen is not as easy. The rain and snow-water equivalent measurements you see in my data on the st vital data page will now be coming from my cocorahs gauge instead of my other gauge. Accuracy will be a lot of better with this new gauge thankfully.

  11. Snow depth down to 24 cm at my place this afternoon. That strong April sun is really doing its job, but snow depth is not falling much in the shade. Unfortunately, there is the potential for a snow storm at the end of this upcoming weekend, halting all this snow melt progress; models have been hinting at this storm for a few days already. I'll wait a couple days before giving more details.

  12. For the record.. I voted April 21 to 25 on the poll

  13. Looks like we're in for a snowstorm Sunday night. Right now consensus is for about 5-10 cm in Winnipeg, with over 15 cm possible in North Dakota. Definitely not a good situation for the spring flood... I hope to have a new post detailing the storm tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, no major warmups expected in the near future with cold temperatures expected to continue for at least another week, but likely even longer. We're on track to possibly break a record for the latest date to hit +5°C for the first time.. It will depend on how warm we get tomorrow. 5°C may be a bit of a stretch for Winnipeg airport tomorrow.

  14. Here's what some models are predicting for snowfall totals with the storm Sunday and Monday in Winnipeg:
    NAM 11 cm
    GFS 13 cm
    GEM GLB 11 cm
    GEM REG 16 cm
    ECMWF 10-15 cm

    Consensus is for 10-15 cm in Winnipeg right now as you can see.. I'll have a new post in the afternoon.