Forecast: Weather stuck in a cold pattern

Covering the period from April 15 to April 22

This map shows the departure from average temperatures across the Prairies during the 30-day period ending April 6. It has been very cold across the western Prairies, with nearly all of Alberta and much of western Saskatchewan seeing temperatures more than 5 C below average during this period. It was a little warmer here in the east, with temperatures right around average.

We’ll begin this forecast with the same words I used in the last forecast. For those of us who are stuck working from home and practising social distancing, wishing we’d see some nice warm weather, I’m afraid we’re out of luck for this forecast period. The weather models have been in very good agreement that the next week or two will remain on the cold side. The only positive is that the sun angle is increasing each day and average temperatures are warming pretty fast, so even the cold weather will slowly warm as the month progresses.

Let’s set the big picture. There is a large trough of low pressure stuck over north-central North America. Areas of low pressure are forming along the southern edge of this upper trough; they then eject to the northeast. As they work their way into the far north, they get pulled back westward by the upper trough. These systems then drop back southward as they weaken, doing a kind of loop. Each time one of these systems does this, it opens the door for arctic high pressure to build southward. Put this all together and it spells cold and slightly unsettled conditions.

This forecast period looks like it will start off with arctic high pressure pushing through and moving off toward the southern Great Lakes. This will allow our flow to become a little more westerly. The result will be slightly warmer temperatures, with daytime highs warming to around the 10 C mark by Friday or Saturday. We may see the odd shower or flurry late in the week as a weak system tracks by.

Temperatures are then forecast to cool off once again as an area of low pressure tracks through the Dakotas early next week. We may see some organized precipitation from this low in the form of snow, but confidence in this system is low. Expect daytime highs to only be in the 2 to 5 C range, with overnight lows falling to around -6 C.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, 4 to 14 C; lows, -7 to +3 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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