On Thursday, March 7th an area of convection appeared off the northern coast of Australia in the Arafura Sea, associated with a weak tropical disturbance. Since then the convection has remained nearly stationary due to steering winds being fairly weak but not much organization has occurred. However, the disturbed area is expected to organize quickly today into tomorrow as it drifts slightly to the southeast where shear values are low and sea surface temperatures are very warm; 30-31°C. By Sunday evening it is expected that Gillian become a category two cyclone, just off the northern coast of Queensland.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) warns that winds could approach 150km/h in areas closest to where it makes landfall. Shoreline areas are most at risk along the peninsula due to the storm surge and large waves. Flooding/flash flooding is also expected as areas along the coast have received around 850mm in February; over double their average rainfall for that month. Another 250-400mm could fall in the region due to Gillian. It is expected that Gillian linger through the beginning of next week and die out as it continues south over land.
Interestingly enough a second, weaker, cyclone is spinning off the east coast of Queensland and is expected to make landfall at about the same time that Gillian does as a strong category one. Both cyclones are to watch Sunday into the beginning of next week as they pose a threat to the northern and eastern areas of Queensland. The Australian cyclone season begins November 1st and ends April 30th and on average they see about ten cyclones per year.
After being inundated with disturbance after disturbance and many areas in the province seeing a fresh 10-20cm of snow, a ridge of high pressure is building into the region and will bring a benign break from the snow at the cost of slightly cooler temperatures.
-10°C / -22°C
Clearing early & breezy.
-9°C / ⇑ -7°C
+1°C / -5°C ⇑
Skies will clear early this morning as breezing northwesterly winds – at 30-40km/h – draw in cooler air to the Red River Valley. Here in Winnipeg we’ll see a high around -9°C. Temperatures will drop into the -20’s tonight as we sit under that ridge of high pressure mentioned above. Saturday will bring mainly sunny skies with a high near -8°C and winds around 15-20km/h shifting to be out of the southwest.
Saturday night will drop to only around -10°C early in the night and then warm up to around -7°C as warmer air starts pushing into Manitoba from the west. We’ll enjoy a warm day with cloudy periods on Sunday as temperatures climb above the freezing mark to +1°C. Temperatures will fall only around -5°C thanks to cloudy skies overnight.
Those cloudy skies Sunday night will be the result of low pressure system pushing across the Prairies. It will bring the potential for some shower or flurry activity to Winnipeg on Monday, however the bulk of precipitation looks to remain further north.
Overall, a nice weekend ahead! Get out there and enjoy it!
Windier, snowier weather is on the way for Winnipeg and the Red River Valley, marking the start of a large-scale pattern shift which will bring the latest – and hopefully last – deep freeze to an end and allow more seasonal weather and temperatures to take hold.
-9°C / ⇑ -6°C
Windy & cloudy. Blowing snow possible. Snow in the afternoon.
-1°C ⇓ / -18°C
Snow ending midday; breezy with temperatures falling in the afternoon.
-12°C / -20 to -25°C
A Windy, Snowy Shift
Warmer air trying to build its way into the Red River Valley will result in increasing southerly winds today. By early this afternoon, winds will be quite strong out of the south at 40-50km/h with gusts as high as 70km/h. These strong winds – coupled with a fairly deep boundary layer – will likely produce fairly widespread blowing snow in the Red River Valley. It’s severity may be limited by relatively mild temperatures, however it’s best that anyone travelling on area highways be prepared for poor driving conditions.
By late in the afternoon, the upper-level portion of the warm front will be approaching the Manitoba border. A strengthening jet overriding the 850mb baroclinic zone will provide a fair amount of isentropic lift. As the jet intensifies, as will the area of light snow pushing into Parkland Manitoba this morning. It will progress eastwards through the day and push through the Interlake and Red River Valley mid-to-late this afternoon.
It seems likely that Winnipeg will see around 2cm of snow that falls as a fairly intense, but short, burst. Areas south of the city will be more hit and miss as to whether or not snow falls. The safe thing to say is that you’re more and more likely to see snow the further north you are in the valley.
By evening our temperature will climb up to our daytime high of about -9°C. Overnight will bring the continued chance for flurries/light snow while winds diminish somewhat and temperatures continue to rise to around -7 or -6°C here in Winnipeg.
Thursday looks to bring more snow to Winnipeg & the Red River Valley as a clipper system races along the Canada-US border. Snow will move in fairly early in the day, spreading eastwards along the Trans-Canada corridor into Winnipeg, and end early in the afternoon. In total, around 5cm is likely to fall through the morning hours – with a little less to the south of Winnipeg – while accompanied by breezy winds out of the south at around 30km/h. Winds will become gusty out of the NW at 30-50km/h in the afternoon as the system tracks off to our east.
Temperatures will climb to a positively balmy -2 or -1°C by midday before the northwesterlies begin drawing in cooler air.
Flurries & Cooler
Thursday night will bring a good chance of seeing some flurry activity as another ridge of high pressure builds in from the NW and some favourable snow-making air slides southeastwards through the region. Any accumulations would amount to only a couple cm at most, and through the night the clouds will break up and we’ll be left with partly cloudy skies by Friday morning.
Friday itself will bring cooler temperatures with a high of only around -12°C and light winds. Some cloud cover Friday night will help temperatures from dipping too much, with overnight lows dipping just below -20°C.
Hope finally lies in the long-range models. Almost all are showing a high probability of a return to seasonal temperatures within the next 2 weeks. No significant cold snaps are in the foreseeable future, and with the sun getting stronger and stronger and the days getting longer and longer, it doesn’t seem likely that we’ll see any more brutal cold snaps for the miserable winter of 2013-2014.
Don’t forget that this coming Sunday, March 9th at 2:00AM we get to do that wonderful tradition of changing our clocks! We spring forward an hour, so it’ll be time to cash in that extra hour you banked way back in the fall!
A “jet” is a narrow ribbon of strong winds aloft. ↩
Which will be for daytime highs near -3°C and overnight lows near -13°C. ↩