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Forecast: Milder, with a slight chance of snow

Covering the period from February 17 to March 3

This map shows the total amount of precipitation that has fallen so far this winter across the Prairies as a percentage of average. It has been a dry winter across nearly all of agricultural Manitoba with a large portion of this region reporting less than 40 per cent of average. The only “wet” areas across the Prairies are in a belt stretching from just south of Calgary northeastward toward Saskatoon. But even there, amounts are just around average, with a few small pockets receiving above average.

The first part of last issue’s forecast played out fairly close to what the weather models were predicting, but by the second half, the weather and the weather models were not exactly agreeing with each other, as milder-than-expected air moved into our region, pushing temperatures to around the freezing mark.

For this forecast period, the weather models hint at a return to the weather pattern we saw during much of January. The two main storm tracks look to stay clear of our area, with one staying well to our south and the other setting back up across the northern Prairies. This means we will likely stay on the dry side, with temperatures running near average as they fluctuate between cool and warm periods.

The models show an area of low pressure tracking by to our north from Wednesday (Feb. 24) to Friday. This will allow temperatures to remain mild, with highs forecasted to be in the -5 C range and overnight lows dropping to around -12 C. By the weekend, the northern low will have pushed off to the east, allowing for some cooler arctic air to move in. Expect temperatures over the weekend to cool off by about 5 to 7 C. This push of arctic air should keep a storm system to our south over the weekend, but if the push isn’t as strong as forecasted, this low could move farther north and clip extreme-southern and eastern regions.

The start of March looks to be fairly quiet as a weak area of low pressure and a weak arctic high move into our region, bringing a mix of sun and clouds, along with temperatures near the middle of the usual temperature range for this time of the year.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -2 to -16 C; lows, -28 to -11 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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