Forecast: Cool with a chance of rain, even snow

Covering the period from May 6 to May 13

For this article I have included two maps. The first shows the total accumulated precipitation across the Prairies for April, while the second map further down shows the departure from average temperatures. On the precipitation map you can see it was very dry across the region stretching from northwestern Alberta southeastward across Saskatchewan. The only wet regions were in far southwestern Alberta and across parts of southern Manitoba.

Well, as it is starting to look and feel a little more like spring out there, I wish the latest forecast was as rosy looking as the last. During the last forecast period we saw warm air work in as expected, and several areas saw their first 20 C day of the year. The strong area of low pressure tracked across central regions as expected and slightly cooler air moved in behind the low. All in all, not too bad.

For this forecast period, the weather models have been showing the cool weather pattern we saw during the first half of April trying to re-establish itself. Confidence is not super high for this period, but the latest trend shows a large trough of low pressure developing over Eastern Canada. This will place us in a northwesterly flow. In this flow we will see a series of arctic highs and northern Alberta lows dive southeastward, bringing a mix of weather conditions.

It’s been a cool spring across the Prairies, ranging from 3 C to more than 5 C below average, with the greatest departure from average occurring in a large swath running southeastward over central Alberta and Saskatchewan between Edmonton and Regina. photo: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

This forecast begins with arctic high pressure building southward, bringing mainly sunny skies and daytime highs in the 10 to 12 C range with overnight lows around -5 C. Over the weekend, the models show an area of low pressure forming over northern Alberta and quickly moving southeastward, exiting Manitoba by early next week. This low will bring clouds, showers and maybe some snow depending on the timing (day or night).

Behind this low the models show another area of arctic high pressure dropping southward during the first half of next week. This means a return to sunny skies, but continued cool temperatures.

Finally, there are hints that warmer weather will move back in around the middle of the month. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, 8 to 23 C; lows, -2 to +7 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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