Forecast: Winter and spring battling it out

Covering the period from February 26 to March 4

This map shows the global temperature departure from average by percentile for January 2020, as determined by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Significant regions experienced above-average to record warmth in January; in fact, January 2020 came in as the warmest January on record, according to NOAA and Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

For the first time in a while, last issue’s forecast played out pretty much as the weather models predicted. Mild air moved in last weekend and was followed by a shot of colder air during the middle part of this week.

For this forecast period, it looks like we will start off with an area of arctic high pressure slowly tracking off to our southeast. We’ll begin with daytime highs in the -12 C range and overnight lows around -22 C. As this high drifts off to the southeast, we will see a westerly flow develop across the Prairies that will help to warm temperatures back up toward the freezing mark by the weekend.

Over the weekend, a weak area of low pressure is forecast to drop southeastward through central Manitoba, bringing a chance of some light flurries Sunday. This low will drag a cold front with it, bringing cooler temperatures to our region by Monday. Sunday’s weak low will be followed up by a slightly stronger low dropping out of the northwest on Tuesday. There is not a lot of confidence on the exact timing and intensity of this low, but it does look like there will be a fairly good chance of a quick couple of centimetres of snow along with some blustery winds.

Behind this low, the weather models show another arctic high, dropping southeastward from the high Arctic. This will bring colder-than-average temperatures for the end of the month, with daytime highs forecasted to be around -16 C and overnight lows around -27 C. Luckily, just like with the last few arctic highs, it doesn’t look like the cold weather will stick around for more than a couple of days before mild air builds back in.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -15 to -1 C; lows, -27 to -10 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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