Jul 25...  Rain finally falls over Winnipeg.. but too little to alleviate drought.

An area of showers and thundershowers moved through Southern Manitoba Tuesday bringing the first measurable rain to the Winnipeg area in two weeks. 6 mm of rain was recorded at Winnipeg airport Tuesday morning, the first measurable rain in the city since July 13th (4.5 mm), and only the second day of measurable rain this month.  Rainfall today ranged from 2.3 mm in Charleswood to 8.6 mm in Fort Richmond.  The 6 mm at Winnipeg airport brings the monthly total for July to 10.5 mm, still on pace to be the city's driest July since records began in 1872.  The driest July on record in Winnipeg was back in 1875 when only 13.5 mm of rain fell for the month.  There is still a chance of additional rainfall on Thursday and towards the end of the month, so the record is far from a certainty.. especially considering summertime rainfall can be very heavy.         




..Warmest January on record in Winnipeg and much of Manitoba..

January 2006 will go down in the history books as Winnipeg’s mildest January since records began in 1873. With a mean monthly temperature of -7.4C at Winnipeg airport (see monthly stats), January 2006 will finish over 10 degrees above normal (normal -17.8C), easily beating the previous warmest January of 1944 which finished at -10.6C.  Thus, January 2006 will beat the 1944 record by a full 3 degrees C which is an extraordinary margin when talking about mean monthly temperatures (consider that Winnipeg’s next 10 mildest Januarys are separated by only 2 degrees C overall - see table below)  This shows how unusual the weather pattern has been this winter, not only in its deviation from normal, but in its persistence. Since Dec 21st, Winnipeg daily temperatures have been above normal every day but one (see January graph), and most of those days have been 10 to 15 degrees above normal. In effect, southern Manitoba has been stuck in perpetual March like weather since the official start of winter, with plenty of cloud, melting snow, occasional freezing rain, and messy roads. Interestingly however, no record daily highs were established during January.  Instead, it was the absence of cold rather than record warmth that was the main story during the month.  There were only 3 days that dropped below -20C when a normal January would see at least 20 days.  The coldest day of the month was -32.9C reading on the 22nd, the month’s only -30C reading. Last January saw 10 days of -30C or lower.  There were 6 days during the month with above freezing temperatures, with a monthly maximum of +2.8C on January 23rd. Heating degree days for the month totalled only 787 units, some 30% lower than the normal 1100 during January resulting in a considerable savings on heating bills for the month.  

The main cause for the unusual stretch of mild weather has been the displacement of the Arctic vortex which normally sits over the Canadian high Arctic or Hudson Bay. This year, for some unknown reason, the cold pool of air has been displaced over Siberia, giving eastern Europe one of its severest winters in decades. This has allowed a mild Pacific flow to sweep over much of Canada, maintaining mild conditions for weeks on end, and keeping any cold air from surging south. The net result has been one of the mildest Januarys on record in many parts of the country (see January anomaly map), particularly over the eastern Prairies which were over 10 degrees above normal for the month.       

Winnipeg's top ten warmest Januarys since 1873 are as follows..


1.  2006..... - 7.4C

2.  1944..... -10.6C

3.  1942..... -11.4C (would have been warmest if not for very cold first week)

4.  1992..... -11.5C

5.  1990..... -11.6C

6.  1987..... -11.8C

6.  1919..... -11.8C

8.  1958..... -11.9C

9.  1931..... -12.2C

10. 1983..... -12.4C


Long Range Guidance:

* Alternate Environment Canada Day 3-5 forecast (FOCN12)
5 day Max temp anomaly - HPC
* 5 day FM Temperature Guidance - Manitoba
10 day MRF loop
* 10 day mean temperature anomaly forecast - Canada (CMC)
* 5 - 10 day mean temperature forecast - Canada (MRF)
* 5 - 10 day mean precipitation forecast - Canada (MRF)
* 6-10 day outlook (CPC)
* 8-14 day outlook (CPC)
* AO/NAO/PNA Outlooks (CPC)
0-16 day GFS
15 day ensemble loops - 500 mb pattern, 500 mb height anomaly, 850 mb temp anomaly, homepage 
Multi-model ensemble site  
Long Range Model Comparison (ECMWF/GFS/CMC/NOGAPS)
ECMWF 3-6 day
ECMWF progs - Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6,  Day 7

Among some of the more useful links for long range forecasting..

El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Diagnostic Discussion

Most Recent 2 Months Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Animation

ENSO Impacts by Region


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Click here for 2004 Highlights

Click here for 2003 Highlights

Click here for 2002 Highlights