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Forecast: Winter’s not done yet

Covering the period from February 5 to February 12

This map shows the total amount of precipitation that has fallen across the Prairies during the first 29 days of 2020. Overall, it has been a dry start to the year, with most of the Prairies reporting less than 85 per cent of average and large regions with less than 60 per cent of average precipitation. The northern edge of agricultural regions stretching from south- eastern Manitoba up into northern Alberta had some areas see near- to slightly above-average amounts.

It’s starting to sound like a broken record, but once again, the weather models have done a decent job with the short- to medium-term forecasts. It can be tough to get the temperatures bang on when we are dealing with clouds with the occasional clear patch. Also, with the stagnant flow, the weather models were having a tough time figuring out the light precipitation that we saw last week, with flurries and freezing drizzle creating some minor problems.

For this forecast period, it looks like our weather pattern is going to undergo a bit of change. It has been interesting watching the weather models trying to figure out just what is going to happen. At first it looked like we would be moving back into the deep freeze, but with each new model run the coldest air stays a little farther north of us and milder air keeps working its way back in. It looks as though the general flow across our region will become north-westerly, which will allow cooler air to work its way southward along with a couple of weak areas of low pressure.

The first of these lows is forecast to move through around Wednesday with a second low quickly following on Friday. Each low will bring with it clouds, along with the chance of some light snow. Overall, any accumulations from these systems look to be light. Once the Friday low pushes through, the door will open for an area of arctic high pressure to begin building in. We will see clearing skies over the week- end along with colder temperatures. Expect daytime highs around -18 C with overnight lows in the -26 to -30 C range.

This arctic high will drop to the south by early next week. This, combined with an area of low pressure tracking across the northern Prairies, will result in a westerly flow develop- ing. This will help pull milder Pacific air into our region, which will slowly moderate temperatures, with daytime highs making their way back to around -10 C by Wednesday.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -20 to -5 C; lows, -31 to -13 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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