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Forecast: Colder, but not much snow expected

Covering the period from January 13 to January 20

This map shows the departure from average precipitation over the last three years across the Prairies. Focusing on Manitoba, except for a couple of small areas, all regions have seen below-average amounts, with large areas reporting deficits between 250 and 400 mm and some well over 500 mm. Winnipeg, for example, has a three-year deficit of 597 mm.

It has been a while since my last weather forecast and, of course, I just happened to miss a period of nice, quiet and predictable weather. For this forecast period, it is increasingly looking as though we will see a switch in our weather pattern to one that will bring a return to more seasonable temperatures. The big question, whenever we see a switch in our weather pattern, is whether it will be accompanied by a big storm system.

This forecast period looks to start off nice and mild as a complex area of low pressure approaches our region from the west. This low has the potential to bring some snow and wind to our region on Thursday, but as I write this it does not look like it will be a big snow maker. What will happen with this system is that fairly strong arctic high pressure will build in behind it as our flow becomes northwesterly. Expect falling temperatures on Thursday and Friday with daytime highs dropping into the -12 to -15 C range and overnight lows dropping into the -25 C range.

We may see some moderation in temperatures over the weekend as a weak area of low pressure drops southeastward in the northwesterly flow. Confidence in the strength and track of this system is low, but it does not look like much or any measurable snow will result. Behind this system the weather models show a reinforcing shot of arctic air building in from the northwest. The core of the cold air looks to move across our region around Wednesday or Thursday (Jan. 19-20), bringing what looks to be the coldest air of the winter. Daytime highs are forecast to be around -18 to -20 C, with overnight low dropping into the low -30s.

Looking further ahead, it looks like the really cold weather will quickly move out of the region, with seasonable temperatures moving in by the end of the week.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -6 to -23 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.



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