Sunday, 2 June 2013

A Spring to Forget?

     Meteorological spring 2013; the polar opposite of spring 2012. Last year, it was one of the earliest springs in memory; this year, one of the latest. In terms of ice on Lake Winnipeg, last year it was its earliest dissapearance in recent memory whereas this year, one of the latest. If you went to the beach on the May long-weekend, you might have been dissapointed to still see chunks of ice on the lakes. In 2012, my maple tree was budding on the first week of April; this year it was a full 5 weeks later!

     Spring 2013 was 4.0°C colder than normal, tying with 2002 for 18th coldest on record since 1872. Just for comparison, the springs of 1997 and 1996 were both colder. Last spring was the 2nd warmest on record at 3.4°C above normal.

Comparison between early April 2012 and 2013

     This spring was the 3rd coldest on record in Brandon since 1890 with an average mean temperature of -2.1°C, 4.9°C below normal. Remarkably, this follows the 2nd warmest spring on record last year.

     Here's some impressive stats that were set in Winnipeg this spring:
  • March 2013 was 13 degrees colder than March 2012
  • Only 2 days above the freezing mark in March, tying for 3rd least (normal = 16 days)
  • A high of 2.3°C on March 28 ended a 76-day streak without reaching the freezing mark, the 20th longest streak
  • 3rd deepest average snow pack for the month of March (average depth of 48 cm)
  • Latest date to hit +5°C for the first time in a year (April 24)
  • 2nd latest date to hit +10°C for the first time in a year (April 26)
  • April 26 ended a 47-day streak of below normal temperatures
  • Deepest winter snowpack for so late in the season on 4 occasions (April 22, 23, 24, 25)
  • 3rd longest lasting winter snow pack (168 days)
  • Latest date on record for winter snow pack to reach a trace cm (April 27)
  • A top-5 latest start to the thunderstorm season and top-2 longest streak without a thunderstorm (as of June 2)
Morden flooding May 20 by Karen Pauls

      Significant storms and events of Spring 2013:

- March 3-5 10-30 cm snowstorm; local amounts of 40-60 cm along escarpment
- March 17-18 RRV blizzard; 10-20 cm of snow across southern MB
- April 29-30 storm dumps 30+ cm of snow in western MB and heavy rain in southeastern MB
- ''Ice Tsunami'' at Ochre Beach May 12
- May long-weekend deluge
- May 30-31 Colorado Low dumps 30 to 122 mm of rain on RRV and escarpment


  1. I'd be careful believing that fantansy sunny sunny forecast for today. Cloud is already moving in from the southwest ahead of tomorrow's system so we'll see increasing cloud beginning late morning or early afternoon with more cloud than sun the remainder of the day. Not a completely dull day, it's just a plain sunny day looks optimistic right now.

  2. Looks like rain will miss Winnipeg tomorrow with that system moving through the Dakotas. It's a tough forecast for areas close to the US border because there will be a sharp line between rain and dry conditions. Depending on how far north the system moves, areas of Morden, Sprague, Melita could get 10-25 mm of rain tomorrow.. but if it's a little more south, Melita would get some showers and Morden and Sprague little to nothing. We'll have to wait and see.

    Already watching another potential strong system for next weekend. Still too early for details, but more rainfall could be in the cards.