Forecast: Cold weather moves back in

Issued January 8, 2018: Covering the period from January 13 to January 20

This map from the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine shows global temperature anomalies during the peak of the holiday cold snap across parts of North America. Note that our region was one of the only cold spots on Earth at that time.

The weather models have been doing a fairly good job of predicting the big picture, but are struggling a little with the details. We saw this over the weekend as air much warmer than anticipated moved in on Sunday and ended up sticking around for an extra day or two before the arctic air returned.

For this forecast period, we will be dealing with a second area of low pressure forecast to track through central and northern regions on Wednesday. Most of the snow from this system should stay to our north, but the northern parts of agricultural Manitoba could see a few centimetres from this system. This low will help to keep southern regions nice and mild with highs expected to be around -4 C on Wednesday before colder temperatures move back in on Thursday.

This cold air will be ushered in by an area of arctic high pressure sliding southward behind Wednesday’s low. Expect daytime highs to drop back down to around -20 C with overnight lows in the -26 to -30 C range. We will see another reinforcing shot of cold air as a second arctic high pushes through over the weekend. A third arctic high is then forecast to drop southeastward early next week, helping to keep temperatures near the low end of the usual temperature range. The one positive is that it doesn’t look like there will be much in the way of winds during this period.

This third area of high pressure is expected to move quickly to our southeast by Wednesday of next week. The clockwise circulation around this high will help to boost temperatures a little bit, but it looks like we’ll see one more area of arctic high pressure move in late next week to keep the mid-January cold snap going. Looking further ahead, there is some indication that the weather pattern will switch to a more westerly to southwesterly flow. This could mean milder temperatures along with better chances for some snow.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -23 to -6 C; lows, -34 to -15 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.



Stories from our other publications