Forecast: Are we nearing the end of the brutally cold weather?

Issued January 28, 2018: Covering the period from January 30 to February 6

This maps show the forecasted temperature anomalies for February and March across North America, as produced by the CFS model on Jan. 24.
You can see how the cold air currently in place across central and eastern North America persists through much of February before transitioning to a much warmer pattern in March.

As forecasts go, last week’s played out about as good as it can get, which is unfortunate, unless you like it cold, really cold! If you do, then you will love this week’s forecast; if not, then it looks like you’ll have to wait a little longer before more seasonable temperatures are forecast to move back in.

This forecast period will begin with a large area of strong arctic high pressure sliding southeastward across Manitoba. This high will bring plenty of sunshine along with fairly light winds, but very cold temperatures. Expect daytime highs on Wednesday to struggle into the mid-minus 20s, with overnight lows in the -34 C range. Once this low moves by on Thursday, we will begin to see a weak push of milder air develop on Thursday. This will help our temperatures to slowly moderate toward more seasonable temperatures by the weekend.

An area of low pressure is forecast to track eastward along the northern edge of this milder air bringing clouds along with the chance of light snow on Saturday. The best chances of measurable snow look to be across central regions. A lot will depend on the exact track of this low and on just how strong an accompanying southern low moving across the central U.S. becomes. Right now it looks like the southern low will become the stronger low, sapping most of the moisture from the northern low.

Another area of arctic high pressure is then forecast to begin dropping southeastward out of the Yukon early next week. Ahead of the high and the main push of cold air, we will see some clouds along with a few flurries late on Monday and into early Tuesday. Temperatures ahead of the arctic front are expected to be fairly nice, with highs over the weekend and into Monday forecast to be in the -6 to -10 C range, with overnight lows around -16 C. Once the front moves through, though, we will be back into the deep-freeze, with forecast highs by Wednesday to be around -20 C and overnight lows back into the -30s C.

Looking a little further ahead, the weather models show temperatures moderating toward the weekend, with near- to slightly below-average temperatures forecast to move in and stick around into early the following week.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -21 to -5 C; lows, -32 to -14 C.

About the author

Co-operator contributor

Daniel Bezte

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.

Daniel Bezte's recent articles



Stories from our other publications