GFM Network News

Weather school: Rare and unusual clouds

Canada’s Northwest Passage is currently open, albeit with some patchy ice

In this article we will continue our study of clouds by looking at several additional terms that can be used to describe and help identify them, and we’ll also look at some rare or unusual cloud types. Before diving into this topic, I want to do a quick update on the state of Arctic sea

Weather: The hottest Manitoba summers

There isn’t a clear-cut definition of what makes a heat wave

For the first time in a while, I am going off grid and enjoying the great outdoors. So, this time around I am digging back and refreshing an older article about the warmest Manitoba summers. So far this year, using Winnipeg as a data point, we have the beginnings of a hot summer, but August

Consistent July temperatures across the Prairies

As summer begins to wind down, let’s take a look at the month that was

Well, believe it or not, another month has come and gone, and depending where you are across the Prairies, and what type of weather you like best, July was either a great month or just too darned wet! So, it is time to once again look back at just what transpired weather-wise across the Prairies

The more water vapour there is in the air, the more potential energy exists to help a 
thunderstorm develop.

Weather school: Understanding heat waves, Part 1

A blocking pattern left parts of Manitoba under the influence of a hot ridge of high pressure

Most areas felt the effects of the early-summer heat wave that brought high daytime temperatures and even warmer overnight temperatures as well as some high humidities, light winds and, for some of you, torrential rains, so I thought we should re-examine a topic I seem to be revisiting every year or two: blocking patterns. Early this year in weather school I talked about

Forecast: Summer weather is moving in

Covering the period from June 17 to June 24

Well, last week’s storm system, which combined with the remnants of tropical storm Cristobal, ended up playing out pretty close to what the weather models predicted. The timing of some of the features was off by a day or so, but overall, they did a good job. For this forecast period, it looks like we should be done with these

It’s believed that when rotating columns of air get squeezed into a narrower shape, wind speeds increase, eventually producing a tornado.

Weather School: What makes storms severe?

Much of our summer rainfall is from typical, rather than severe, thunderstorms

A couple of weeks ago we talked about what it takes to form severe thunderstorms: heat, humidity, lift, and some way to vent the air at the top of the storm. This time we’ll take a look at what takes a severe thunderstorm and turns it into a thunderstorm to truly remember, or maybe forget.

Forecast: Cool weather and an unsettled start

Covering the period from June 10 to June 17

The weather models did a fairly decent job with last article’s general weather outlook. I am hoping, for this outlook — at least for the first half — that the models are off, as it looks like a cool and wet start. There is a little bit of uncertainty with the early part of this forecast, as it’s quite

The more water vapour there is in the air, the more potential energy exists to help a 
thunderstorm develop.

Weather school: What creates a thunderstorm?

A large difference in temperature between two areas is needed for a storm to form

It’s thunderstorm season, and while we haven’t seen any big storms so far this year, the heat seems to have moved in, so it is only a matter of time! We are going to begin with the same issue I bring up every year, which is how people mix up weather watches and weather warnings. Basically, when we

Forecast: Warm weather with increasing humidity

Covering the period from May 27 to June 3

The main area of low pressure that the models forecasted to impact our region during the last forecast period did materialize, but it ended up taking a much more westerly route than expected. In fact, the low retrograded or moved from east to west a little bit. This meant the rainfall from this system fell

Regions of high pressure and low pressure, by latitude and altitude.

Weather school: General atmospheric circulation

Our planet’s rotation sets up a much more complex pattern of worldwide winds

Before wrapping up our weather school look at winds and working our way into general atmospheric circulation, I figured I should try to give a quick explanation of what has been driving our recent bout of cold weather. The jet stream — a narrow band of rapidly flowing air in the upper atmosphere, which usually