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Forecast: Cold air expected to slowly moderate

Issued February 15, 2019: Covering the period from February 20 to 27

This map shows the total amount of precipitation that fell across the Prairies compared to average over the 30 days ending Feb. 13. This has been a much wetter period, with most regions reporting near- to above-average amounts of snow and only scattered areas reporting below-average amounts.

With an early deadline because of the Louis Riel Day long weekend, this issue’s forecast is more like a general weather outlook for the next week or two. So far, over the last couple of weeks, the weather models have had an increasingly difficult time predicting the forecast. This usually means one of two things: 1) the general weather pattern is starting to shift, or 2) the weather models want to shift the pattern but Mother Nature is trying to hold on to the current pattern. In the latest model runs, it looks like the second point wins out.

The weather models keep showing warmer-than-average temperatures moving in, but each time the weather model runs and creates a new forecast, the warm weather is another couple of days further off, with the warmest temperatures slowly shifting to our north.

With this in mind, here’s what the latest outlook says. It appears the current cold weather pattern is going to continue until at least the first week of March. It looks like the coldest weather, compared to average, will stay to our west, then slide southward into the central U.S. This should mean we will escape the coldest air. Add to this the increasing strength of the sunshine as we work into the first month of spring and we should see slowly warming temperatures over the next couple of weeks. At the same time, our average temperatures are also warming, so overall, we’ll still likely stay below average.

Cold early-spring weather doesn’t necessarily mean dry weather, but the latest medium-range forecasts are not showing any strong storm systems directly affecting us. The models do show a strong Colorado low developing near the end of February and then moving off to the east, well to our south. As we all know, we always need to keep a close eye on any Colorado lows that do form, especially at this time of year.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -15 to -2 C; lows, -28 to -10 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.



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