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Forecast: Some nice late-winter weather

Issued February 26, 2018: Covering the period from February 28 to March 7

This map shows the total amount of precipitation that fell across the Prairies during the 30 days ending Feb. 22 as a percentile. Western and central regions were wetter than average, with amounts ranging from extremely high across parts of southern Alberta to near average over most of Saskatchewan. Across agricultural Manitoba precipitation remains low, with most regions reporting near-average to moderately low amounts.

Over the last week or so, the general weather pattern across much of central and northern North America has undergone a major shift. The polar vortex has broken down as expected, the western ridge of high pressure has weakened and moved farther off the coast, and the long-wave trough of low pressure over eastern regions has been partially replaced by a ridge of high pressure. While this has created extreme changes in weather over western and eastern regions of North America, for our region the changes have been a little more subtle.

This forecast period begins with our region sandwiched between three areas of high pressure: one to our southeast, another to our north, and the third off the West Coast of B.C. This will result in fairly quiet weather with partly to mostly sunny skies, along with temperatures running close to the high end of the usual temperature range for this time of the year.

Things get complicated over the weekend as the West Coast low moves inland. The weather models are really struggling with this system. Current model runs show the low slowly meandering across our region, bringing clouds and the chance of light snow every day from Saturday to Monday. Currently, it doesn’t look like we’ll see significant snowfall from this system, but some regions could see up to 10 cm. Temperatures look to remain on the mild side, but with plenty of cloud cover daytime highs should remain several degrees below freezing.

For next week, a weak arctic high pressure system is forecast to drop southward, bringing sunny skies and slightly cooler temperatures. It doesn’t look like we will see a return to the bitterly cold temperatures we have seen this winter, but temperatures will return to more seasonable values. Expect daytime highs to be in the -10 C range with overnight lows in the -18 C range.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -13 to -1 C; lows, -26 to -10 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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