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Weather: Stormy start, then a return to warm?

Forecast covering the period from Oct. 13 to Oct. 20

This map shows the amount of precipitation that has fallen across the Prairies since the beginning of September as a percentage of the long-term average. You can quickly see by all the red, which is less than 40 per cent of average, that most of the Prairies has been very dry. The only “wet” area is found in the Peace region of Alberta.

Like they say, all good things must come to an end. This saying only works if you have been enjoying this summer-in-October weather. If you are hoping for significant rainfall, then you just might be happy by the time you are reading this.

For the second time in a row, the forecast played out very close to what the weather models were predicting. We saw the very warm, record-breaking temperatures to start off this forecast period, followed by unsettled weather over the holiday long weekend. The weather models then forecasted a strong storm system to move into our region around Oct. 13, which is where this forecast begins.

With the several days’ lead time I have in creating these forecasts, it can be tough to figure things out when the forecast calls for a strong storm system right at the beginning of the forecast period. Strong storm systems, or areas of low pressure, can often take on a life of their own, greatly impacting what type of weather will occur after the low pushes through. With that said, here is what the weather models call for.

A strong Colorado low is forecast to develop and move northeastward on Wednesday, bringing a very good chance of significant rain to most of southern and central Manitoba. This low will move off into Hudson Bay by Friday, allowing for cold, unstable air to dive southward behind the low. Depending on the timing of the system and cold air, a few areas may see the odd flurry on Friday or Saturday morning before skies clear. These clear skies could lead to the first widespread frost on either Sunday or Monday morning.

Confidence in the second half of this forecast is not that high, but the latest model runs show a trough of low pressure digging in off the West Coast to start the week of Oct. 17. This trough should help to build a ridge of high pressure over our region, which would mean a return to warmer-than-average temperatures. Daytime highs could push back into the upper teens to around the 20 C mark by Thursday or Friday under plenty of sunshine.

Usual temperature range for this period: highs, 6 to 18 C; lows, -4 to +6 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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