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Mixed bag for long weekend

This map shows the total amount of precipitation that has fallen across the Prairies during the 60 days ending Aug. 18. Southern and northern parts of Alberta have been fairly dry, with large areas seeing fewer than 50 mm of rain during this period. Northern and eastern parts of agricultural Saskatchewan and western Manitoba were fairly wet during this period, with a number of locations reporting 200 mm or more.

Things definitely got interesting last weekend as we saw yet another unusually strong area of low pressure affect our region. The low moved a little slower than first forecast and it also tracked a little farther west, but all in all it made for a fairly wet weekend.

This forecast period begins with a ridge of high pressure building across the region. The weather models aren’t in total agreement as to how strong this ridge will be; lately they’ve trended toward a weaker ridge. Even with a weak ridge we should still see plenty of sunshine along with slowly warming temperatures. Daytime highs on Wednesday should be in the low 20s, with the high warming by a couple of degrees for Thursday and Friday.

To start the long weekend the weather models show a cool arctic high sliding by beginning late on Friday. This will bring cooler air into our region for Saturday. At the same time, an area of low pressure is forecast to develop to our west and begin tracking across the central Prairies on Sunday. This means we’ll likely see increasing clouds Saturday with showers and thundershowers moving in on Sunday. The best chances for rain Sunday look to be over central regions. High temperatures under the cloud cover will struggle to reach the 20 C mark.

This low will begin pulling off to the northeast Monday, leaving us in a cool, unsettled northerly flow. As a result, Monday will end up feeling fairly fall-like, with a mix of sun and clouds and the high only reaching the upper teens. Looking further ahead the weather models show a ridge of high pressure slowly rebuilding to our west and a trough of low pressure deepening to our east. This will place us in a predominantly northwesterly flow for most of next week and should result in partly cloudy skies most days, with temperatures running closer to the bottom end of the usual temperature range for this time of the year.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, 17 to 28 C; lows, 6 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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