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Forecast: Arctic air establishes itself

Covering the period from February 10 to February 17

Forecast: Arctic air establishes itself

Well, like most snow-producing systems so far this winter, the forecasted Colorado low never really developed last week. We did see a weak storm system move through last Thursday, bringing a light dumping of between five and eight cm of snow across a large portion of southern and central Manitoba. This storm system was then followed up by the expected shot of cold arctic air that sent temperatures plunging to below average by last weekend.

This forecast period begins with our region deep into arctic air, with temperatures near the low end of the usual range for this time of the year. An upper-atmospheric area of low pressure is forecast to drop southward from northern Hudson Bay into our region from Wednesday (Feb. 10) to Friday (Feb. 12). This feature will bring sunny to partly cloudy skies and cold temperatures, with daytime highs only climbing into the -24 C range, with lows dropping to around -32 C. Luckily, it looks like winds will be relatively light.

By the weekend, the weather models show a renewed push of arctic air as the upper-level low drifts eastward and arctic high pressure drops southeast. The reinforcing shot of cold air will keep us in the deep freeze right through the weekend and into the early part of next week. The models then show a weak area of low pressure tracking through our region around the 16th, bringing with it the chance of some light snow and warmer temperatures. The warm-up looks to be brief before arctic high pressure pushes back in by the middle of next week.

Looking a little further ahead, the weather models hint at a rapid switch back to above-average temperature by Feb. 20 as the flow across our region becomes westerly. As usual, that is a long way off and a lot can change between now and then.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs: -4 to -20 C; lows, -32 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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