Forecast: Stuck in a cold unsettled pattern

Issued October 1, 2018: Covering the period from October 3 to October 10

This map shows the departure from average for the total amount of precipitation that has fallen across the Prairies this growing season (April 1 to Sept. 27). Despite some regions seeing above-average amounts of precipitation in September, most areas still show a large reduction in precipitation over the past six months compared to the average for the time period. With the exception of northwestern Saskatchewan, north- central Alberta and scattered pockets across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, most areas saw precipitation totals that were 50 to 150 mm below average.

All the ingredients for our first measurable snowfall of the season were in place during last week’s forecast period, they just didn’t come together at the same time. While some areas did see some snowflakes, and there may have been a few locations near the lakes that saw a little bit of accumulation, overall, we haven’t seen widespread snowfall — yet.

It looks like we are going to remain stuck in the same weather pattern for the next couple of weeks, which means cold weather with several chances for measurable rain, and yes, even snow. The forecast period will begin with a large and strong area of low pressure moving northeastward out of the western U.S. This system will be able to pull enough warm air ahead of it that we should see mostly rain on Wednesday and into Wednesday night. Once the system moves by, a cold front will bring in colder air, switching the rain to snow by Thursday morning. Currently, it looks like we will only see a light dusting from this system.

A second weaker system will pass by to our south on Friday, bringing with it a light wintery mix of showers and flurries. Weak arctic high pressure will then move in on Saturday and Sunday, bringing with it sunny to partly cloudy skies along with cool temperatures. Expect daytime highs to only be in the 5 to 8 C range with overnight lows in the -2 to -5 C range. The weather models then show another strong area of low pressure developing over the western U.S. and tracking northeastward late on Sunday and into Monday. Expect increasing clouds on Sunday, with another wintery mix of rain and snow on Monday. Southeastern regions will see the best chance of precipitation from this system, with northwestern regions likely seeing no precipitation.

For much of next week it looks as if it will be sunny, as a large area of arctic high pressure drops down from the north. While the sunshine might feel warm, air temperatures are expected to remain near or below the usual temperature range for this time of the year.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, 8 to 19 C; lows, -2 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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