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Forecast: Colder weather definitely moving back in

Covering the period from February 12 to February 19

This map shows the total amount of precipitation that has fallen across the Prairies this winter as a departure from the long-term average. Amounts range from a high of around 60 mm above average over far western regions, to a low of around 60 mm below average over eastern regions.

Any time we see a switch in the weather pattern, the weather models tend to struggle a little bit on the day-to-day details, and we saw this happen with last week’s forecast. Colder air tried to move in several times, but these cold intrusions only lasted a day or so before milder air moved back in. For this forecast period, it looks like the cold air will win out, with most days seeing below-average temperatures.

For this forecast period we’ll continue to see our weather, or the general flow, coming out of the northwest. Strong arctic high pressure will be sitting over the high Arctic, centred northeast of Alaska, and this high will be the source of several cold-air outbreaks. On Wednesday we will see the first of these outbreaks begin to work southward as a piece of the arctic high breaks off and slides through Saskatchewan and then into the Dakotas by the end of the week. Daytime highs on Wednesday will be in the -15 C range, dropping to around -22 C by Friday. Overnight lows will be cool/cold, with most nights seeing temperatures falling to around -28 C and some locally colder areas seeing -30 to -32 C.

A second arctic high will drop southward over the weekend, bringing continued clear skies and cold temperatures. The high is forecast to be directly over southern Manitoba by Monday, leading to light winds but cold temperatures. I wouldn’t be surprised to see overnight lows dropping into the -30 to -34 C range.

Unfortunately, the weather models show yet another arctic high sliding southward early next week, followed by one more shot of arctic high pressure later in the week. So, while it looks like temperatures will be running near the bottom end of the usual temperature range for this time of the year, all these areas of high pressure and cold air will keep us pretty much snow free for the next couple of weeks.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -19 to -4 C; lows, -31 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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