Mild & Unsettled Weather Ahead

As advertised earlier in the week, milder weather arrives to the Red River Valley today, however unlike earlier in the week, conditions have trended towards being more unsettled with several chances for rain.

Today will be mild with temperatures climbing to a high near 11°C, but that warmth comes ahead of a disturbance that will bring a chance of showers to the the Red River Valley later today. Winds will be out of the southeast at around 30 km/h, and both the chance of showers and the wind will persist into the evening. Expect a low near 3°C tonight.

The chance for showers will come in two batches, the first very early this morning as overnight development slides through, and the second builds over southwest Manitoba this afternoon and then slides eastwards into the Red River Valley late in the afternoon and into the evening. This second band may persist for a while and feature some moderate rainfall rates, although widespread accumulations will likely remain under the 5-10 mm range.

Much of Manitoba will see showers or light rain from the system moving through.

Thursday will see a similar high to today, but a bit of sunshine should help it feel a bit nicer. Temperatures will reach a high near 11°C as winds taper off in the afternoon. Thursday night will bring increasing cloud as temperatures dip to a low near 4°C.

Friday will be a bit cooler with a high near 8°C under mainly cloudy skies. Winds will gradually increase out of the north to around 20 km/h as a weak ridge of high pressure approaches from the northern Prairies. There looks to be a fairly good chance of some light rain on Friday night as temperatures drop to a low near 2°C.

Long Range

The weekend looks to be a bit of a mixed bag; temperatures will continue mild with highs near the 10°C mark, but skies will bring variable cloudiness and some of Friday night’s light rain may stick around for portions of Saturday morning.

CPC 6-10 Day Temperature Anomaly Outlook valid April 3-7, 2017

Looking further ahead into next week, there’s a very high chance that we’ll continue to see above-normal temperatures in southern Manitoba. No significant precipitation is expected next week either, so we should see a continued, gradual melt across the region.

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently 4°C while the seasonal overnight low is -7°C.

Spring Arrives in the Red River Valley

There will be no mistaking it this week: spring has arrived!

Temperatures will remain above normal through the coming week as a westerly flow aloft continues to spread mild Pacific air eastwards across the Prairies. With a rapidly eroding snow pack in the Red River Valley, it will also become easier and easier to reach warmer temperatures as the surface albedo decreases.1

It won’t all be sunshine, however. Today’s weather will be driven by a weak mid-level disturbance rolling through. It will bring fairly cloudy conditions through much of the day and a chance of rain or freezing rain in the morning.2 Winds will remain fairly light as temperatures climb to a high near 5 or 6°C. Clouds will remain fairly cloudy tonight as well with temperatures dropping to a low near -2°C.

The RDPS model shows a narrow band of showers over the Red River Valley this morning.

Tuesday will be a bit nicer, with some of the cloud breaking up to give a mix of sun and cloud to Winnipeg. Temperatures will climb to a high near 8 or 9°C with light northeasterly winds. Temperatures will drop to a low near 0°C under mostly cloudy skies on Tuesday night. There will be a slight chance of some rain overnight as a warm front pushes through, but that will depend on whether or not it ends up strong enough to support any showers.

Wednesday will bring some more cloud to the region, but temperatures will climb to a high near 10 or 11°C. Winds will be out of the south near 20 km/h. Skies will break up a bit overnight with temperatures dropping to a low near 2°C.

Long Range

Temperatures will continue to be mild with daytime highs near the 10°C mark throughout the remainder of the week and into the weekend. There will be a few chances for some showers throughout the second half of the week and into the weekend, but they seem to mainly be during nighttime. For the most part, it looks like beautiful weather ahead.

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently 3°C while the seasonal overnight low is -7°C.


  1. Albedo is a measurement of how much energy a surface reflects instead of absorbs. Snow has a very high albedo—up to 85-90%—which means a majority of energy from the sun is reflected back upwards. Bare ground only reflects around 10-15% of the incoming energy, absorbing the other 85%. This allows temperatures to climb much higher over bare ground compared to snow-covered ground. 
  2. What the precipitation falls as will depend precisely on the surface temperature at the time. 

Variable Cloudiness with Above-Normal Temperatures

The weekend will bring a mixed bag to Winnipeg with temperatures climbing into above-seasonal values, but a fair amount of cloud will remain in place over the next few days, dampening the spring-like feeling.

Cooler temperatures will be in place over the Red River Valley today as a result of northerly winds to 20-30 km/h that moved in behind a cold frontal passage overnight. Temperatures are expected to reach high near +2°C in Winnipeg today as those winds diminish by midday. Skies will become a mix in the morning and remain that way through much of the remainder of the day.

Skies should clear up tonight as temperatures drop to a low near -5°C.

Milder temperatures are expected across southern Manitoba on Saturday.

Saturday will bring slightly milder temperatures to the region, but alongside the warmth will come breezy southerly winds to around 30 gusting 50 km/h. Temperatures will climb to a high near 4 or 5°C with skies clouding over. Saturday night will bring diminishing winds, cloudy skies and a seasonally mild overnight low near 0°C.

Sunday will be similar temperature-wise to Saturday with a high temperature near 5°C, but a trough of low pressure moving into the Red River Valley will bring lighter winds and the chance for some rain showers. Skies will clear a bit overnight as temperatures head to a low near 0°C once again.

Long Range

As mentioned in our last post, the forecast for a continued trend of gradual warming continues. Little has changed from our outlook earlier in the week, with above-normal temperatures expected in most places over the coming couple weeks.

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently 2°C while the seasonal overnight low is -8°C.

A Windy Return to Milder Temperatures

The wind will be back today, but this time rather than slamming colder temperatures southwards through the Red River Valley, it will be gradually bringing warmer weather back to the region. A generally warm and dry pattern will establish itself for the coming week or so, likely bringing a gradual spring melt to the Red River Valley.

As warmer weather once again moves into the Red River Valley today, like clockwork those southerly winds will ramp up and become the main weather feature of the day. The winds will increase through the morning to 30-40 km/h by midday, and then further strengthen in the afternoon to 40 gusting 60 km/h.1 These strong winds will likely persist much of the night before dropping off on Thursday morning. While all this happens, Winnipeg & the Red River Valley will see a sunny morning give way to cloudy skies midday into the early afternoon as temperatures climb to a high near -1°C late in the day.

A deep southerly flow extending from southern Manitoba all the way to Texas will develop by Friday evening.

The cloudy skies will continue overnight with a slight chance of some light snow2 as a warm front associated with a low pressure system passing across the central Prairies moves through. Temperatures will remain steady near -2°C.

Thursday will bring the spring warmth as we enter the warm sector of the system passing by to the north. Temperatures will climb above normal for much of the Red River Valley with high temperatures the +5 to +7°C range. The winds will ease off in the morning and we’ll be left with mixed to cloudy skies. A weak cold front will slump through late in the day, but have little effect on temperatures overall; Thursday night will see a low of just -3°C or so under fairly cloudy skies.

Friday will see temperatures return to near-seasonal values with a high near +2°C under partly cloudy to mixed skies. The lack of any notable winds will make it a pleasant day. Lows will drop to around -3°C on Friday night.

Long Range

The long range forecast is definitely pointing towards the arrival of spring not just for southern Manitoba, but a vast amount of North America. A stable long-wave pattern will be developing over the southern Prairies for the coming 1-2 weeks, bringing relatively dry conditions and ample warm air.

CPC 6-10 Day Temperature Anomaly Forecast — Valid March 27-31, 2017

Daytime highs will climb into the mid- to upper-single digits this weekend and remain there for much, if not all, of the coming week. Throughout this period, it looks like the potential for rain across the Red River Valley is fairly low. Some models hint at a chance for some light rain or snow on Sunday night, but otherwise keep things fairly dry.

NAEFS 8-14 Day Temperature Anomaly Forecast — Valid March 28 to April 4, 2017

Overall, even into the Week 2 timeframe, temperatures look to remain above normal…nearly everywhere. It’s practically a certainty that we’ll be seeing the elimination of the snowpack across the Red River Valley in the coming days, and a substantial melting, if not elimination, of the substantial snowpack over southwestern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan that was produced by the major blizzard last week.

All is not fun and games, though, as the melt, particularly in drainage channels to the Assiniboine river, will transition the region towards dealing with flooding concerns. Fortunately, much of the snowpack has already been eliminated in the North Dakota Red River Valley, which will help ease things slightly. Spring flood forecasts are the responsibility of the Manitoba Government. News and updates can be found here.

Winnipeg’s seasonal daytime high is currently 1°C while the seasonal overnight low is -9°C.


  1. There’s a very slight chance they may even reach up to 50 gusting 70 km/h
  2. No accumulations are expected with any snow that does materialize for Winnipeg & the Red River Valley.