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Winter starts without the snow

Issued: Monday, Nov. 10, 2014 – Covering Nov. 12 to Nov. 19, 2014

weather map of the Canadian prairies

If you remember back to last week’s forecast I pointed out the confidence level was not that high. Well, the overall pattern proved to be pretty correct but, as they say, the devil is in the details.

The large low over Hudson Bay formed as expected and did drag a cold front across our region last weekend, bringing with it the coldest weather so far this fall/winter. Now, this is when the forecast changes. Instead of the forecast arctic high diving southeast into northern Ontario, a strong area of low pressure off in the Pacific set up a pattern that is allowing this high to drop straight south through Alberta and western Saskatchewan.

This will place us on the eastern side of the high, which will keep us in moderate northerly winds, cold temperatures and, at best, a mix of sun and cloud during the day along with the odd flurry. Daytime highs will only be in the -5 to -10 C range, with overnight lows around -15 C. Depending on the exact location and strength of the high, the best bet will be that western areas will see more sun than clouds, while eastern areas will struggle to see the sun.

This pattern of an eastern trough and western ridge, somewhat reminiscent of last winter, looks as if it will continue for at least the next couple of weeks as the models show the eastern trough of low pressure deepening and retrograding to the west a little bit. At the same time a second arctic high is forecast to drop southward, bringing with it more cold air. Luckily, at this time of the year, weather patterns tend to switch really rapidly, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -7 to 4 C; lows, -16 to -4 C. Probability of precipitation falling as snow: 88 per cent.

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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