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Forecast: Warm, with a chance of rain

Issued February 13, 2017 – Covering the period from February 15 to February 22, 2017

Timing of weather systems ended up being an issue with last week’s forecast. We did see a system late last week give a general five cm of snow to a good part of southern and central Manitoba, but it came through a day earlier than forecast. The second low slid quickly through central regions as expected on Saturday, but it was not as strong as forecast, which meant very little snowfall and not much in the way of colder air moving in behind it.

This forecast period will begin with a battle between cold air to our northeast and very mild air trying to push in from the west. It looks like the mild air will win out for most of this forecast. A strong ridge of high pressure is expected to build over the western U.S. and extend northward into southern Canada. The flow over this ridge will pump plenty of mild Pacific air across the Prairies. We should really start to feel the mild air by Thursday, with daytime highs rising to above 0 C in most areas. Sunny and mild weather should continue Friday and Saturday as the ridge pushes east. There is a small chance of some clouds along with flurries or showers on Saturday over central regions, as a small weak system ripples through.

Sunday looks to be a nice day with a return to sunshine and a daytime high once again topping out near the 0 C mark. Attention then turns to a developing storm system forecast to begin affecting our area Monday. Confidence in this system is low. Currently, weather models show the system developing to our southwest late on Sunday and tracking toward Lake of the Woods by late Monday. It looks like we could see a mixed bag of weather from this system, with eastern and southern regions possibly seeing more rain than snow. Western and northern areas will likely see snow, possibly mixing with rain at times. There is the potential for some significant accumulation with this system, so it bears watching. It will pull off to the east Tuesday, but we’ll likely see clouds and the occasional light snow or flurries lingering right through until Wednesday. Temperatures look to remain near or slightly above average.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -17 to -3 C; lows, -30 to -11 C.

About the author

Co-operator contributor

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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