Forecast: Milder weather, with a chance of snow

Issued January 15, 2018: Covering the period from January 17 to January 24

This map shows the total amount of precipitation that has fallen across the Prairies as a percentage of average for the 60 days ending Jan. 11. It’s easy to see just how dry it has been over the last couple of months, especially across agricultural Manitoba. A large portion of the Prairies has seen less than 60 per cent of average precipitation, with over half of agricultural Manitoba seeing less than 40 per cent of average.

Once again, the weather models have done a fairly good job of predicting the big picture, but just like in the last forecast period, they struggled with the details. We saw this last weekend as the weather models totally missed out on a weak system moving through ahead of the next arctic high. This system brought a bit of light snow, but more importantly, it brought with it high winds which turned cool winter weather into cold winter weather.

For this forecast period it finally looks like we are going to break from the pattern of arctic high pressure, which means we should see a return to above-average temperatures. Wednesday and Thursday look to be the warmest days as warm Pacific air builds in from the northwest — that’s right, the northwest. Expect daytime highs near the 0 C mark with overnight lows dropping into the -10 to -14 C range.

A large area of low pressure off the southern B.C. coast will spawn a couple of areas of low pressure that may affect our region over the weekend and into the first part of next week. The first low is forecast to move across central regions early in the weekend, bringing some light snow to the northern Interlake. The southern region will likely see clouds along with the odd flurry. Temperatures will remain mild, with highs forecast to be in the -3 to -5 C range and overnight lows around -14 C.

A second area of low pressure is then expected to develop over southern Alberta and move through the Dakotas on Monday and Tuesday. The latest model run keeps most of the snow south of our region, with only the odd flurry expected for southern regions. A weak area of arctic high pressure is then forecasted to move in behind this low on Wednesday, dropping temperatures back down toward more seasonable values.

Looking further ahead, the weather models show an extended period of near- to above-average temperatures to end the month.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -23 to -6 C; lows, -34 to -16 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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