Forecast: Spring weather appears to have sprung

Covering the period from April 29 to May 6

This map shows the percentage of normal (or average) soil moisture across the Prairies as of April 20. The majority of the Prairies is experiencing average to above-average amounts of soil moisture, with large portions of all three provinces seeing amounts ranging from a low near 85 per cent up to 150 per cent. There are a couple of pockets with greater than 150 per cent, while there is a corridor of below-average soil moisture stretching from east of Calgary toward Saskatoon.

If you haven’t been following my forecasts over the last several months you might not know that for some time now, my forecast deadline changed from three days before the paper is published, to six days. While three extra days ahead of time might not sound like a lot, it is. After reviewing the forecasts I think I have to change my approach; a six-day lead time for a seven- to 10-day forecast isn’t working that well. So, for this forecast I am going to talk more in terms of trends and try to stay away from specific days for specific events.

With that said, it’s looking more and more like we have finally turned the corner from winter into proper spring. The overall trend in the weather models for the upcoming two weeks is for much warmer weather to move in. The one problem I have — and I’ve seen this in the past when we are in long periods of colder-than-average weather — is that the weather models tend to start leaning toward warmer weather moving in near the end of the forecast period. This means that each time a new forecast comes out, the really warm weather is still at the end of the forecast period — meaning it never arrives!

For the first half of this forecast period it looks like we will be in a predominantly westerly flow. The models have been consistent with bringing a fairly strong low from the Pacific through the central Prairies during this period. This low track will mean sunny to partly cloudy skies, along with warm temperatures and daytime highs pushing 20 C if we get enough sunshine.

Over the weekend it looks like we’ll get brushed by a ridge of arctic high pressure sliding through northern Manitoba. This will cool us down a little bit before milder air begins to build back in early next week. For those of us needing things to dry out, currently the weather models are not showing any strong signs of significant precipitation through to May 10.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, 6 to 20 C; lows, -4 to +6 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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