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Forecast: Cold weather moving in for Christmas

Issued December 18, 2017: Covering the period from December 20 to December 27

This map shows the total amount of precipitation that has fallen across the Prairies as a percentage of average for the 30 days ending Dec. 14. You can quickly see it has been a dry start to winter for much of the Prairies, with many areas reporting less than 60 per cent of average. Across agricultural Manitoba, it has also been dry, with only the far eastern regions reporting near-average precipitation.

The predicted switch in our weather pattern began to materialize over the last forecast period as the West Coast ridge began to break down. Over this forecast period it’s looking like we’ll begin to feel the effects of the switch as colder air builds into the region.

To start off this forecast period, there will be an area of low pressure crossing the central U.S., spreading an area of snow ahead of it. Most of this snow should stay south of the border, but extreme southern and western regions may see a little light snow late Wednesday and into early Thursday morning. This low will deepen as it moves toward the East Coast, helping to draw down cold high pressure into our region by Friday. This arctic high will bring some of the coldest temperatures of the year, with overnight lows on the weekend and into Christmas Eve and Christmas Day looking to be in the -25 C range, with daytime highs in the -15 to -20 C range.

The weather models show a small area of low pressure dropping through the northwesterly flow sometime late on Christmas Eve or early Christmas Day. Currently, it looks like far western regions may see the odd flurry from this system, though I wouldn’t hold my breath if you were really hoping for a little Christmas snow.

High pressure is then forecast to build back in by Boxing Day, keeping us in a predominantly northwesterly flow for the rest of next week. Expect mostly sunny skies on most days with fairly cold temperatures. The weather models show daytime highs remaining in the -15 to -20 C range, with overnight lows possibly dropping down toward the -30 C mark. Looking further ahead toward New Year’s Eve, the weather models continue to show seasonably cold temperatures with very few minor chances for snow as high pressure keeps any storm systems well to our south.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -20 to -4 C; lows, -29 to -12 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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