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Weather models having trouble agreeing

Issued: Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 – Covering: Jan. 28 – Feb. 4, 2015

weather map of western Canada

Last week’s weather pattern played out pretty much as expected. As anticipated, the timing and exact paths of the lows coming out of the northwest were a little off, with the first low that moved through late last week taking a much more westerly route.

Weather models have done a pretty good job with the general forecast out to about four or five days, but beyond that period, they’re having a bit of a hard time trying to figure things out. Initially, the models had been trying to bring much colder weather back into our area later this week, then switched to only a brief cold snap followed by more mild weather. Now the models again show a generally colder pattern developing later this week, lasting through to about the middle of next week, as a cross polar flow develops. Due to the inconsistency of the weather models, confidence in this forecast is fairly low.

This forecast period will start off with a weak low crossing southern and central regions on Wednesday, bringing clouds and some light snow or flurries. A small area of arctic high pressure will drop southeastward behind this low. This will start to cool our temperatures back down toward the middle to lower end of the usual range on Thursday, with the coldest air moving in over the weekend as a reinforcing arctic high builds in.

The weather models then show an area of low pressure sliding down from the northwest on Monday or Tuesday, which could bring the chance of some snow along with a brief warm-up. This system will move through quickly as arctic high pressure builds southward, again bringing with it more cold weather for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -22 to -4 C; lows, -33 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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