Forecast: Is the dry spring weather coming to an end?

Issued April 22, 2019: Covering the period from April 24 to May 1

This map shows the per cent of average precipitation that has fallen across the Prairies over the 30-day period ending on April 17. Looking at the map, all of the red indicates just how dry the early part of spring has been so far this year. It will be interesting to see how much this changes over the next couple of weeks as our quiet dry pattern tries to transition to a more active one.

For the first time in a while, last week’s forecast played out pretty close to what the weather models were predicting, with the added bonus of temperatures ending up a little warmer than expected.

This forecast period will begin with a predominantly zonal flow with the jet stream tracking across the southern Prairies. This will bring sunny to partly cloudy skies with temperatures slowly cooling down towards the low teens by Friday as the jet stream slowly sags to the south.

On Friday, the weather models are showing an area of low pressure forming to our southwest and then tracking eastwards through South Dakota. Currently, it looks like most of the precipitation from this system will stay to our south, though southern regions may see some showers or flurries late Friday or early Saturday before the system pulls off to the east.

Behind this low we should see a return to sunny skies later on Saturday and continuing into Sunday as weak high pressure builds in. Temperatures look to be pleasant, with daytime highs making it to around 15 C on both days.

To start next week the weather models are hinting at the flow across our region becoming more out of the southwest. This pattern usually results in unsettled weather for our region, as the storm track shifts north. It also makes it more difficult to forecast accurately. The weather models are showing an area of low pressure forming on Monday to our southwest and then tracking to the northeast through North Dakota on Monday and Tuesday. This track would bring showers or periods of light rain to most of southern and central regions with the possibility of some wet snow mixing in over more northern regions.

Expect temperatures to be fairly cool due to clouds and rain. The weather models are hinting at a secondary low quickly following on the heels of the first low with another chance of rain on Wednesday.

Looking further ahead, the models are showing a couple more chances of rain late next week and over the weekend.

Usual temperature range for this period: highs, 7 to 20 C, lows, -3 to 6 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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