Tuesday, 16 February 2016

A Mild January Overall

January was a mixed-bag in terms of temperature in southern Manitoba. The month started off mild, but frigid conditions moved in mid month. Well above normal conditions returned late month. Overall, January was 1.8°C above normal at Winnipeg airport, tied 29th warmest since 1872.

Some fields were nearly bare in late January south of Winkler
Frigid conditions occurred from the 9th to 18th. Highs during the period averaged about -20°C and lows -28°C. These were the coldest conditions so far this winter, but thankfully they were short-lived. Warm conditions returned late month with record warmth at times in some locations. 3 days exceeded the freezing mark in Winnipeg; the 29th being the warmest at 3.3°C. No records were broken in Winnipeg. Brandon, on the other hand, reached a record 3.5°C on the 27th. The extended warmth melted much of what little snow there was on the ground in southwestern Manitoba and along the US border. Fields were left nearly bare in some locations, a rare sight in late January.

In terms of precipitation, it was a dry January overall. Meager snowfalls of 1-2 cm were common in the Winnipeg area, but major snowfalls were not. Just one ''major'' snowfall occurred: on January 27, around 7 cm of snow fell. Areas along the US border from Winkler to Melita saw even less snow in January with no more than 10 cm in some areas. Rain and freezing rain even occurred at times late month. Winnipeg saw some rain as well on January 27 and 29 but only less than 0.5 mm.

Friday, 5 February 2016

The #1 Weather Story of 2015 in the Winnipeg Area

#1 - Record-Breaking December Warmth Finishes Off 9th Warmest Year Since 1873

Remarkable warmth started December across southern Manitoba. 8 to 10 days in the first half of the month exceeded the freezing mark in Winnipeg, above the normal of 4 days for the month. 14-consecutive days from the 3rd to 16th never dropped below -9°C at Winnipeg airport, amazing when you consider this was close to the normal high. Temperatures reached 7°C downtown and 4°C at the airport on the 3rd, one of the warmest days of the month. The only record broken during the warm spell was on December 9 when a high of 5.6°C at the airport broke the old record of 5.1°C in 1990.

The warmth was most impressive where there was no snow cover. 3 to 7 cm of snow was leftover from November in the Winnipeg area and this limited temperature. Areas without snow cover southwest of the city and in southwestern Manitoba were much warmer. Many locations reached double digits and in some cases more than once. In Morden, four days exceeded 10°C, three of which were record highs. The high of 14.2°C on December 4 was the third warmest on record in December since 1904. Some thermometers reportedly reached 15°C, more typical of late September or early October. No snow was on the ground at the time. A similar milestone was reached in Brandon with a high of 11.1°C on the 4th, the third warmest temperature in December since 1890.

The first half of December (December 1 to 15) averaged -3.0°C at Winnipeg airport, the second warmest first half of December on record since 1872. The warmest was in 1913 with an average of -2.1°C. The month as a whole averaged -8.1°C, tied with 2011 for 9th warmest December since 1872.

A warm December was a fitting end to a warm year. 2015 averaged 4.2°C, the 9th warmest year on record since 1873. Highs averaged 10.1°C, tied 7th warmest. This was only the 9th year since 1873 to see highs averaging in the double digits and the 3rd in the last 10 years.