Monday, 26 January 2015

Enjoy the Mild Conditions While They Last...

A very mild start to the day today in Winnipeg... Temperatures rose to +2°C overnight with a high of 2.1°C here in South St Vital and also at the airport. There was even a bit of rain around 5 am. Unfortunately, a brisk northwest wind this morning will usher in some colder air, dropping temperatures to the mid minus single digits for the afternoon. Winds will calm somewhat this afternoon.

Another mild one tomorrow with temperatures above zero. Unfortunately, it does look a little cloudier than we would like. There may be a few breaks in the cloud at times though.

Unfortunately, the weather pattern takes a turn beginning Wednesday. Northerly winds will gradually bring some colder air back into the region. There will also be a chance of some snow throughout the day, but I'm not expecting major accumulations if we do get snow.

Temperatures really take a plunge beginning on Thursday. Some models do hint at a brief warmup on the weekend, but below normal temperatures should be dominant through to next week. Some -30°C lows cannot be ruled out on the coldest nights.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Very Mild... Snow Possible on the Weekend

A significant warmup begins today in southern Manitoba. Temperatures will exceed the freezing mark in many locations, including Winnipeg, this afternoon. Unfortunately, it will remain quite cloudy with possibly just a few holes in the cloud. It will also be quite windy from the south with gusts as high as 60 km/h this morning and afternoon.

Temperatures wont fall much at all tonight with a low not far from 0°C. Another warm one tomorrow with a high above zero again. Unfortunately, it looks like we may stay on the cloudy side with just a few breaks in the cloud possible.

Staying mild for Saturday. However, a slightly stronger clipper system could bring some accumulative snow on Saturday into Saturday night. It will be a quick system so a quick 2-5 cm is possible. Will update in the comments if things change...

NAM simulated radar for 6pm Saturday, showing the forecast snows in southern Manitoba

Brief cool down for Sunday before we get back into the warmth until Wednesday.

Unfortunately, it is becoming more apparent that a more major cool down might begin by Thursday (29th). Frigid temperatures may greet us into February. However, I am not yet convinced this cool down will last terribly long. As usual, will keep you up to date.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

More Snow

After about 2 or 3 cm of snow in Winnipeg yesterday, more snow is on the way in the next few days. Temperatures will remain generally mild, but brief pushes of colder air will exist.

First, some light snow is expected today. No significant accumulation is expected however. Temperatures will gradually fall through the day as colder air is advected in. Chillier night tonight, possibly dipping around -20°C.

Once again tomorrow, the afternoon will be chilly and the high wont be reached until late in the evening. There will be a stiff south wind down the valley once again, making it feel even colder.

Unfortunately, there is good agreement that we'll be seeing another clipper system on Saturday with periods of snow beginning sometime tomorrow night and tapering off sometime Saturday. There is less agreement on snowfall amounts though, but 2-5 cm looks like a good range right now. Will update in the comments below if things change. Breezy north-northwest winds will develop Saturday morning and afternoon, giving drifting and blowing snow in open areas, especially outside the city. Temperatures will be mild on Saturday despite the snow.

Some slightly colder air pushes in Sunday. Next week is a little uncertain at this time. A clipper system or two might bring a chance for some snow. After a mild start to the week, we might cool down later in the week.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Warming Up a Bit

After a generally miserable 2 weeks (if you dislike the extreme cold), things look to warm up a bit next week. First, we just have to get through a couple more days of much colder than normal conditions.

For today, we will struggle to exceed -20°C under sunny skies. Winds will be light. Very similar tomorrow.

A core of frigid arctic air moves over tomorrow night into early Monday. Lows in the -30's are likely Monday morning as a consequence. Despite a southerly wind developing in the afternoon, we will once again barely exceed -20°C. Things warm up slightly for mid week, likely only bringing us closer to normal values. After one last push of colder air Thursday, it looks like we might see more significant warming for next weekend. The Canadian and European models both hint at temperatures getting close to the freezing mark. I don't expect this warmup to last extremely long. There are hints of cooling down again late January.

As for snowfall, no significant systems are expected for the next couple weeks right now. A few weak clippers may bring some light snow at times, but nothing major. There could be a bit of snow on Thursday for instance.

I apologize for the lack of updates, but my focus until spring will be on my studies. Updates will be posted here and there over the next couple months. This blog should become more active again in the warmer months. Monthly summaries will continue to be posted as per usual.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

The #1 Weather Story of 2014 in The Winnipeg Area

Dec to Feb departure. Source: High Plains Regional Climate Center

#1 - Harsh Winter 


It was the winter that just kept on giving. The cold that would just never end. Old Man Winter had a nasty temper last winter in Manitoba.

The cold began in November, but really got going in December 2013. It was the 6th coldest December on record since 1872 with an average of -20.9°C, 7.4°C below normal. It was the coldest since 2000 and the 2nd coldest since 1893. 14 days during the month did not even exceed -20°C for a high. In addition, 9 days dropped below -30°C. The monthly minimum of -37.9°C on December 31 was the coldest in December since 1933. Another low of -37.3°C on December 15 was not only a record but also the coldest for so early in the season since 1893. Not only was it cold but it was also snowy. 40.0 cm of snow fell in December, 66% above normal and the 20th snowiest December since 1872.

To the dismay of Manitobans, Old Man Winter did not loosen his grip until April. Well below normal temperatures and above normal snowfall continued for months. In fact, for only the second time since 1872, all three winter months of December, January and February averaged below -20°C.

January averaged -20.1°C, the coldest January since 2004. 8 days didn't exceed -20°C and 12 days dipped below -30°C. A low of -38.0°C on January 5 was the coldest since February 2007. The high of -30.2°C was a record low maximum for the day and the first high below -30°C since January 30, 2004. To think, just 2 years earlier on the same day, a record high of 6.7°C was achieved. The main story of January was the frequency of snowstorms and blizzards. Moderate snowfalls and blizzards occurred every couple days for 2 weeks in mid-late January. 37.6 cm fell in total for the month, the 25th snowiest January. Blowing snow warnings were issued for Winnipeg by Environment Canada on 6 days. Numerous blizzards occurred in the southern Red River Valley.

February averaged -20.0°C, 6.5°C below normal and the coldest February since 1979.

Biting cold greeted us into March. The mean temperature on March 1 was -31.5°C, about 21°C below normal and the second coldest March day on record since 1872. The low of -37.0°C was just shy of the all-time March low of -38.9°C in 1873 and 1880. The high of -26.0°C not only obliterated the old record low maximum of -22.2°C in 1972 but was also the 2nd coldest high in March on record. Of course, all that was still not enough for Old Man Winter. An all-time March low wind chill of -49.6 also occurred.

In the end, March averaged -12.7°C, 6.9°C below normal. As April came, 43 cm of snow still remained on the ground, the 3rd deepest snow pack entering into April since 1955. Snow depth did not reach a trace cm until April 19, the 3rd latest date to do so on record.

With an average of -18.4°C, it was the coldest December to March period in 115 years (and tied 11th coldest since 1872). 90 days in the period dropped below -20°C, tied 6th most and well above the normal of 51 days. It was also the most -20°C days in 121 years (since the winter of 1892-1893). Basically, no one alive today in Winnipeg had ever experienced a winter as cold. In terms of snowfall, 124.6 cm fell, the 12th snowiest December to March period. Combining 11th coldest with 12th snowiest truly made winter 2013-2014 one of the harshest winters in history.
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