After a fairly nice end to the year and an equally nice start to 2016, it looks like we’re in for some significant changes in our overall weather pattern.
High pressure that brought us plenty of sunshine along with fairly mild temperatures over the weekend pulled off to the east, and by Wednesday the weather models show a storm system developing over the central U.S. Confidence on how this storm system will behave is fairly low, but the confidence on how the overall weather pattern will play out is fairly high.
The central U.S. low is expected to deepen and move off to the northeast on Thursday and Friday. A trough of low pressure is forecasted to extend northward from this low and will likely bring clouds and light snow to our region late on Thursday and into Friday. Right now it looks like most of the energy and precipitation from this low will stay well to our south, but this system does need to be watched. Current indications are for only a light dusting of snow with maybe a couple of centimetres over extreme southern and eastern regions.
While this low is winding up and pulling off to our northeast, arctic high pressure will be building in behind it. This high is forecast to drop southward through Western Canada, placing us in what could be a fairly strong northerly flow. Depending on how quick the high builds in and how fast the low moves out, Saturday could be fairly windy, and if some snow is still lingering behind the low it could end up being a fairly blustery day.
By Sunday or Monday we’ll see the coldest air of the winter move into the region, with daytime highs expected to be in the -20 C range and overnight lows dropping to around -30 C. These cold temperatures look like they’ll be sticking around for a while, with weather models showing the cold air staying in place until at least the middle of the month.
Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -21 to -5 C; lows, -31 to -15 C.