Cool With Occasional Snow, Then Temperatures Plunge

The coming days will see a fair amount of cloud and several chances for snow, but temperatures will continue to be slightly above seasonal values. A big change is on tap for next week when a massive blast of Arctic air will plow through much of Canada and the United States, sending temperatures plummeting off a cliff. Time to dig out all the winter clothes.

More of the same. This weekend’s weather will bring little difference from the past several days as low cloud continues to linger through the region. The high temperature today will sit near -2°C with a light winds. Winnipeg & the Red River Valley may see some light isolated snow showers, but no accumulations are expected and for the most part it should just be a mainly cloudy day.

Temperatures will drop to a low near -5°C tonight with a few breaks in the cloud showing up overnight. Winds will pick up out of the south to about 15 km/h by Saturday morning.

Saturday may bring some sunshine through the morning hours, but skies will cloud back up through the afternoon ahead of the next low pressure system moving through. Temperatures should climb to a high near 0°C with continued south winds at 15-20 km/h. Heading into the evening, an area of light snow will spread eastwards into the province as a low pressure system moves into the Interlake from southeastern Saskatchewan. Temperatures will dip to a low near -2°C.

An area of snow will push across Southern Manitoba Saturday night into Sunday morning.
An area of snow will push across Southern Manitoba Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Sunday morning will see the snow gradually tapering off with total amounts close to 2 cm. After that Winnipeg will be left with mostly cloudy skies and the continued chance for some isolated light snow showers. Temperatures will remain steady near -2°C before falling to a low near -6°C on Sunday night under partly cloudy skies.

Long Range

Monday will bring the potential for another snow storm to the region as a low lifts northwards through eastern North Dakota into northern Minnesota. Best guesses at this point are for another 5-10 cm of snow over the Red River Valley and 10-20 cm over southeastern Manitoba. Slight changes in track could result in significant changes to forecast snowfall amounts, though, so we’ll have to keep an eye on it as this system develops through the weekend.

Behind that system, the big story will be the temperature crash over North America:

The GDPS is forecasting a substantial outbreak of Arctic air next week.
The GDPS is forecasting a substantial outbreak of Arctic air next week.

Temperatures over a large area are forecast to be 10-20°C below normal as a cold air mass crosses over the pole from Siberia into North America. Here in Manitoba, it appears like we’ll avoid the worst of it with temperatures dipping to seasonal to slightly below seasonal values, but to the west and south winter will be arriving in full force. After a November that saw every single day with above normal temperatures, it will likely be quite a shock to the system!

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently -7°C while the seasonal overnight low is -16°C.

Temperatures Will Be Cooler, But Remain Above Seasonal

Despite moving onto the back-side of a massive low pressure system with gusty northerly winds, Southern Manitoba won’t be falling into a deep freeze; the cooler temperatures moving in place will instead be cooler but still above typical seasonal values. Alongside the minor cool-down, the region will be dealing with periods of light snow as the low pressure system that brought a mix of rain and snow over the past couple days slowly moves off into Eastern Canada.

Skies will be mainly cloudy over the coming few days, with a slight chance of the odd ray of sunshine on Thursday and a better chance of skies becoming mixed on Friday. Temperatures will be relatively steady through the week as well, with temperatures steady near 0°C today giving way to daytime highs near -2°C on Thursday and Friday. Lows will fall just a few degrees below the highs, with lows near -5°C on Thursday and Friday. On the off chance that some clear patches show up at night, temperatures have the potential to plummet closer to the -9 or -10°C, but those values won’t be seen underneath cloudy skies.

The RDPS forecast shows light snow accumulatiosn across much of Southern Manitoba on Wednesday night through Thursday.
The RDPS forecast shows light snow accumulatiosn across much of Southern Manitoba on Wednesday night through Thursday.

Today will bring periods of light snow to the region, tapering off to scattered flurries tonight and through the next couple days. By Friday, any flurry activity should be relatively isolated. No notable accumulations are expected from the snow over the coming days.

Winds will be out of the north at 20-30 km/h through the day with a few gusts on top of that. The wind will diminish tonight, followed by light winds for Thursday and Friday.

November Looking To Take Top Spot As Warmest on Record

Winnipeg continues it’s incredibly warm winter with non-stop above-normal temperatures.

The average daily high temperature for November 2016 now sits at 7.4°C, beating out the previous record of 7.1°C set in 2009. The average daily low temperature for the month is now at -1.0°C, crushing the previous record of -3.2°C set in 1923. Combine the two, and the average daily mean temperature sits at 3.2°C, beating the 117 year old record of 1.3°C set in 1899 by almost 2°C.

The unprecedented warmth will fade as we head into December, though; all long-range guidance is suggesting a return to seasonal temperatures in the coming week. While colder air does look like it will begin working its way into the Prairies in the coming weeks, so far it appears most of it will remain west of Manitoba, leaving us with a continued stretch of near-seasonal temperatures ahead.

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently -6°C while the seasonal overnight low is -15°C.

Colorado Low Looms

Our first significant Colorado Low in some time will bring a variety of precipitation types to southern Manitoba today. Rain, snow, freezing rain, and ice pellets will be possible.

A variety of precipitation types will be possible in southern Manitoba today. The map shows areas of rain (green), snow (blue), freezing rain (purple), and ice pellets (red).
A variety of precipitation types will be possible in southern Manitoba today. The map shows areas of rain (green), snow (blue), freezing rain (purple), and ice pellets (red).

Today

Monday
2°C / 1°C
Mixed precipitation early, then rain

A powerful Colorado Low will bring a mixed-bag of precipitation to southern Manitoba today. Precipitation will likely start out as freezing rain or ice pellets in portions of the Red River Valley and south-eastern Manitoba this morning, before changing to rain later in the morning. Rainfall amounts of 5-10 mm are expected in most areas, with higher amounts possible near the International border. There may be a bit of snow at times, but little accumulation is expected – and any that were to accumulate will be melted by rain later in the day. However, the story will be different in western Manitoba, where snow will be the dominant precipitation mode for the day. Accumulations of 5-10 cm are likely in most areas by tonight. Winds will be gusty out of the north-east at 30 km/h gusting to 50 km/h, bringing some blowing and drifting to open parts of western Manitoba.

Tuesday

Tuesday
1°C / -1°C
Periods of snow

This Colorado Low will take its time exiting our region, affecting us once again on Tuesday. Unfortunately (for some), rain will change to snow on Tuesday in the Red River Valley and south-eastern Manitoba. Accumulations of 4-8 cm are likely in addition to possibly a couple millimetres of rain or mixed precipitation early in the day. Western Manitoba can expect another 5-10 cm on Tuesday, bringing totals up to 10-20 cm. The model graphic shown below, which considers a wide-range of possible solution, shows a very high probability (>80%) of over 10 mm of total precipitation in most of southern Manitoba. Winds will remain gusty out of the north on Tuesday at 30 km/h gusting to 50 km/h.

Most of southern Manitoba stands a very high chance of receiving over 10 mm of precipitation with this system (NAEFS graphic).
Most of southern Manitoba stands a very high chance of receiving over 10 mm of precipitation with this system (NAEFS graphic).

Wednesday

Wednesday
-1°C / -4°C
Mainly cloudy with flurries

The Colorado Low will continue to linger on Wednesday, but snowfall rates will decrease. Flurries are expected throughout the day, but accumulations should be small. Winds will remain breezy from the north at 20-30 km/h.

Long Range

It appears that we’ll see generally seasonal to slightly-above seasonal temperatures as we move into early December. However, longer-range models do hint at a very cold arctic air mass being pulling down from the north about one week into the month. This will have to be monitored, as it would be our first significant bought of below-normal temperatures in quite awhile.

Sun Breaks Through For A Mild Weekend

Winnipeg will see a reprieve from the damp, cloudy weather this weekend as the clouds clear out later today and clear to mixed skies move in. Alongside the sun, daytime highs over 5°C above normal will remain in place, continuing the likely record-setting above normal temperature trend seen for the entirety of November so far.

Today will start off cloudy, however throughout the afternoon the clouds should begin to break up as some drier air moves in from the southwest. Without the persistent fog and mist in place, temperatures will have a bit more mobility than they have the past couple days, and Winnipeg should see a daytime high near 3°C. Winds should remain fairly light through the day out of the south to southwest. Expect clear skies giving way to a bit of cloud on Friday night, with temperatures dipping to a low near -3°C.

Saturday morning will start off with some cloud in the area as a warm front pushes through, but then we should see clearing and some sunshine for the afternoon.1 Temperatures should climb to a high near 3°C again with light winds out of the south to southeast. Skies should remain fairly clear on Saturday night with a low near -3°C again.

Sunday will bring increasing cloud to the city through the day as a significant weather system begins organizing south of the border. While skies will be mixed, temperatures will still be pleasant with highs yet again near 3°C. Winds will be out of the southeast at 10-20 km/h. Cloud cover will increase on Sunday night with temperatures dipping down to around 0°C.

Record Warmth

So far this month, Winnipeg has had an average high temperature of 8.1°C. With the forecast temperatures ahead, November will end with an average high temperature near 7.1°C and a mean temperature2 of approximately 2.6°C. The average high temperature will likely end up taking the #1 or #2 spot for warmest Novembers by average high temperature.

RankAverage
Daily High
Average
Daily Mean
Average
Daily Low
17.2 (2016)3.1°C (2016)-1.1 (2016)
27.1 (2009)1.3 (1899)-3.2 (1923)
36.4 (1999)1.3 (1923)-3.3 (1899)
45.8 (1899)1.0 (1981)-3.3 (1922)
55.8 (1923)0.9 (2001)-3.5 (1981)
65.7 (2001)0.8 (2009)-3.6 (1917)
75.5 (1981)0.6 (1999)-3.7 (1953)
85.3 (1939)0.5 (1917)-3.9 (2001)
95.2 (1904)0.2 (1922)-4.3 (1918)
104.6 (1917)0.1 (1953)-4.3 (1944)
Top 10 Warmest Novembers in Winnipeg (since 1872)

So far November has had an average overnight low of -0.8°C, with a forecast month-average of -1.0°C. This is a whopping 2.2°C above the previous record of -3.2°C set in 1923. The monthly mean temperature is forecast to end up at about 2.6°C, which crushes the previous record by 1.3°C. To put that in perspective, Winnipeg is forecast to break the previous monthly mean temperature record by the same amount as the spread from the current record to the 10th place entry.

Long Range

The start of next week threatens another winter storm for the region as a Colorado Low moves into Minnesota. Again there’s quite a bit of uncertainty as to how progressive the system will be and whether it will back into the Red River Valley or end up further east and missing the province. The general agreement is that the Red River Valley will be hit by this system, but how much precipitation will fall is a wild card.

  • GDPS 48-hour precipitation totals valid from midnight Tuesday through midnight Thursday.

The big challenge with this system, should it actually hit the Red River Valley, will be what will actually fall out of the sky. Best indications are that much of what falls may actually be rain rather than snow, but it’s far too early to put too much stock in any particular forecast other than saying that this system, should it hit Winnipeg, will likely bring a wintery mix to the region. We’ll be keeping an eye on it as the system develops!

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently -5°C while the seasonal overnight low is -13°C.


  1. Most forecast models show clear skies in the afternoon behind the warm front, however a few outliers want to keep things cloudy. At this point, with a broad southwest to westerly flow expected in the warm sector, I think that skies should manage to clear out, but we’ll keep an eye on things incase pesky cloud manages to stick around. 
  2. The mean temperature is an average of high and low temperatures of each day.