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Typical mid-winter weather

Issued: Monday, Feb. 9, 2015 – Covering: Feb. 11 – Feb. 18, 2015

It’s turning out to be quite the battle between cold air to our north and east and warm air to our west and south. Unfortunately, for those hoping for a return to mild melting weather, it looks like we stay on the cold side of things at least for the next week or two, as a series of arctic highs invades central and eastern North America. If you were hoping for more snow, again, more bad news, as the arctic highs should keep any snow on the light side.

The general weather pattern across North America is staying fairly stable, with a ridge of high pressure over western regions and a trough of low pressure across eastern regions. This places us in a northwesterly flow between these two main features, which will result in systems moving through fairly rapidly.

snow depth map

This map nicely shows the path of the Feb. 7 storm system that tracked from central Alberta across Saskatchewan, then southeastward through Manitoba into Ontario. The heaviest amounts from this system were in the 15- to 20-cm range, quickly dropping off to only a couple of centimetres on the southern edge of the system.
photo: NOAA

The first system will be an area of arctic high pressure building in on Wednesday and Thursday, bringing plenty of sunshine and temperatures near the bottom end of the usual range. This high will quickly slide off to the southeast Friday, with a weak low in its wake bringing some milder temperatures and a few flurries. A second high will slide by to our northeast on Saturday and Sunday, which should help to clear the skies. Fortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll see colder air move in with this high, as another weak low following quickly behind this system late on Sunday will help to keep the coldest air to our north.

A third arctic high will then drop southward and drift across our region Monday and Tuesday, bringing plenty of clear skies and cold temperatures as daytime highs and lows struggle to make it into the low end of the usual temperature range. By Wednesday this one will also quickly move off to the east, allowing for milder air to move back in.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -17 to -2 C; lows, -29 to -12 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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