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Forecast: Low confidence in weather models

Issued April 10, 2017 – Covering the period from April 12 to April 19, 2017

Surprisingly, last week’s forecast turned out to be pretty good, despite the inconsistencies in the weather models. I think the biggest problem with the forecast was the timing of the cold front that swept through the region over the week. After a nice warm day Saturday, the cold front, which was originally forecast to move through late Sunday, rushed through early Sunday bringing a very cool day with daytime highs staying below freezing in most areas.

Besides the first few days of this forecast period, overall confidence in the weather models is very low. The reason for this is the lack of consistency in the model runs. The weak arctic high pressure that brought the cool start to the week will be sliding off to our east on Wednesday, while a weak area of low pressure moves in from the west. The weather models show this low falling apart as it moves across central Manitoba late Wednesday. Expect a few clouds with maybe a few light showers over central regions. This weak low should help to boost temperatures back toward more average mid-April values.

The weather models then show a much stronger area of low pressure forming to our west and tracking through north-central Manitoba late in the week. A warm front ahead of the low will bring clouds along with showers or light rain on Friday. Sunny to partly cloudy skies should prevail over southern and central regions on Saturday and Sunday, along with fairly mild temperatures. Expect daytime highs in the mid- to upper teens.

Weak arctic high pressure will then skirt by early next week, bringing more sunshine but slightly cooler temperatures. Attention then turns to a developing area of low pressure over the western U.S. Currently, the weather models are keeping most of the precipitation from this system to our south, but we will have to keep an eye on this system for the middle part of next week.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, +1 to +13 C; lows, -10 to +2 C.

About the author

Co-operator contributor

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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