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Forecast: Arctic high pressure continues to dominate

Forecast issued Jan. 18, 2016, covering the period from Jan. 20, 2016 to Jan. 27, 2016

The coldest air of the winter moved in as expected last weekend, with most locations either seeing air temperatures in the -30 to -33 C range or feeling wind chills in the -40 C or colder range. Hopefully this was nature’s biggest push of cold air for the winter, but as usual, only time will tell.

For this forecast period it will definitely feel warmer, but we’re still not done with arctic highs. As last weekend’s high drifts off to the southeast, another weaker arctic high is forecasted to drop southeastward through our region on Thursday and Friday. This high doesn’t originate as far north as the previous one, so temperatures will not be as cold. Expect a mix of sun and clouds from Wednesday to Friday with daytime highs in the -14 C range and overnight lows around -22 C.

Over the weekend, the weather models are trying to develop an Alberta clipper that will zip through south-central regions of Manitoba on Saturday, bringing milder temperatures along with some clouds and a quick shot of snow, especially over central regions.

Once this system moves by, another arctic high will begin to build in, but like the last high, this one doesn’t appear to be that strong and its origins are in the low arctic. This low is also currently forecast to move a little farther east, through northern Ontario, which would keep the coldest air to that region. Southern regions might see some clouds along with a few flurries on Monday as a weak system moves through the Dakotas. The weak arctic high will then bring us more sun than clouds from the middle of the week, along with nice mid-winter temperatures and highs expected to be around -12 C, with overnight lows in the -20 C range. It could be a little colder if the high tracks a little farther west.

Looking further ahead, the weather models begin to point to a switch in our weather pattern to a warmer but stormier one near the end of the month.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -22 to -6 C; lows, -32 to -14 C.

About the author

Co-operator contributor

Daniel Bezte is a teacher by profession with a BA (Hon.) in geography, specializing in climatology, from the U of W. He operates a computerized weather station near Birds Hill Park.

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