Forecast: Spring weather slow to move in

Covering the period from March 25 to April 1

With the end of the winter season nearly here (November to April), let’s look at a map of the percentage of average precipitation that fell across the Prairies from Nov. 1 to March 18. It has been a dry winter across much of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, with a large portion of this region reporting less than 60 per cent of average.

Well, my last forecast was not too bad — a little optimistic on temperatures, maybe, but the overall pattern was handled pretty well by the weather models. The main reason is that we seem to be stuck in this particular weather pattern, so until something big comes along to change it, expect more of the same type of weather in coming weeks. That’s right: it doesn’t look like spring will be bursting onto the scene any time soon.

For this forecast period, the weather models show an area of low pressure tracking by to our south, with cold high pressure to our north. The models show snow pushing northward into southern Manitoba on Wednesday, which may give some regions a quick two to five centimetres. The arctic high pressure to our north will help to quickly push the snow out of our region, with sunny but cool conditions returning on Thursday and Friday. Expect daytime highs in the -5 C range, with overnight lows around -16 C.

Over the weekend we will see cold arctic high pressure sitting to our north, with warm air trying to push up from the south. The uncertainty with this setup is just how far north the warm air may get. Currently, the weather models show the mild air pushing into North Dakota but staying south of our region. We will see some moderation of temperatures rising to around or just above freezing for daytime highs. The weather models also show a band of clouds and flurries setting up between the cold and warm air but, just as with temperatures, exactly where that band will be is uncertain. Currently, it looks like it will be over the central to northern Interlake region.

Early next week, the northern arctic high is forecast to push off to the east, which will allow for slight milder temperatures to move in as the pattern begins to shift from northwesterly to westerly. This will also open the doors for a more unsettled weather pattern to possibly develop later in the week. As usual, this is a long way off, and a lot can change by then.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -8 to +4 C; lows, -20 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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