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Forecast: Manitoba’s spring melt slowly begins

Issued March 11, 2019: Covering the period from March 13 to March 20

This map shows the total amount of precipitation that has accumulated across the Prairies so far this winter, representing approximately how much water is available in the current snow pack. Amounts range between 50 and 100 mm of water across most regions, with the wettest area found across eastern regions.

As we begin to transition from winter to spring it’s not unusual for the accuracy of the forecasts to take a bit of a hit. We saw that in the last forecast as the weekend storm system that looked to stay well south of us took a much more northerly track, bringing measurable snow to much of extreme southeastern Manitoba. The tough part for this forecast period is going to be the first couple of days, as a second Colorado low tracks northeastward, bringing with it rain, snow and wind.

The big question is just how far north this Colorado low will track on Wednesday and Thursday. The latest model run shows the storm taking the same track as last weekend’s system. This will mean more measurable snow for extreme southern and southeastern regions. It wouldn’t take much of a shift in the system to either put us in the clear or bring significant snowfall to a much larger part of southern Manitoba.

Once this system pulls out on Friday, the weather models settle things down for the weekend and into the first half of next week. High pressure will build in on Friday, bringing sunshine and seasonable temperatures. A weak system is forecast to drop southeastward over the weekend, bringing clouds along with a few flurries late on Saturday and into early Sunday. Temperatures look to be pleasant, with daytime highs expected to be in the -2 to -4 C range and overnight lows around -12 C.

High pressure will build back in to start next week. This high will slowly slide by to our south, bringing with it plenty of sunshine along with mild temperatures. Expect daytime highs to be in the +2 to +4 C range with overnight lows around -10 C, which will help kick off the spring melt.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -8 to +4 C; lows, -21 to -8 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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