Forecast: Cold weather pattern trying to re-establish itself

Covering the period from February 3 to February 10

These two maps show the Coupled Forecast System (CFS) model’s temperature forecasts for the next two months, laying out which areas of North America are predicted to be warmer or colder than average. Across the Canadian Prairies heading from west to east, you may be expected to experience colder-than-average, average or warmer-than-average conditions.

The weather models got the basic pattern correct during the last forecast period, but some of the details were off and, as I have pointed out more than once, the devil is in the details. Cold air built in a little earlier than expected and pushed a little farther south, resulting in colder-than-forecasted temperatures. Luckily, the cold weather did not stick around for long before milder air moved back in.

To start this forecast period, the weather models show a Colorado low ejecting to the east-northeast. Usually, we would be concerned about a Colorado low, but so far, the weather models have been keeping this low well to our south. That said, when it comes to these lows, we should always be at least a little bit wary. Extreme-southern and eastern regions might see a little light snow from this system, with only flurries expected farther to the north. This low will be well to our east by Friday, allowing for cold air to move in, with daytime highs dipping from above average to near average.

Over the weekend, a second area of low pressure is forecast to drop southeastward through Alberta and Saskatchewan. While this system is not forecast to impact our region with any snow, a strong area of arctic high pressure will quickly move in behind the system and drop our temperatures back into the well-below-average range. Expect daytime highs from Feb. 7 to 10 to be in the -22 to -25 C range, with overnight lows falling to around -32 C.

Looking a little further ahead, the weather models show a slow warm-up during the second half of next week along with the chance of some light snow. The models then hint at a return to cold temperatures as we move toward the Louis Riel Day long weekend.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -5 to -21 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.

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