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Forecast: Will warm weather return next week?

Issued February 5, 2018: Covering the period from February 7 to February 14

This map shows the total amount of precipitation that fell across the Prairies during the 30 days ending Feb. 1. The southern two-thirds of the agricultural regions of the Prairies received very little precipitation, with most areas seeing less than 10 mm. The only “wet” areas were along the northern edge, with northwestern Alberta seeing the highest totals.

The arctic vortex deepened and took up position just north of Hudson Bay as expected last week, which resulted in a return to cold temperatures across all of Manitoba. The only part of the forecast that was a little off was the occasional dusting of snow that preceded each new area of high pressure that pushed into our region.

This forecast period looks like it will be a repeat of last week’s. The arctic vortex is predicted to remain strong and continue to spin in place. This will keep our region under a strong north to northwesterly flow, allowing for new shots of arctic high pressure to slide southward every few days. The first high will build southward on Wednesday followed by reinforcing highs on Friday and Sunday. This will keep temperatures close to the bottom end of the usual temperature range for this time of year. Winds don’t look to be too strong, but any wind at these temperatures will help to create extreme wind chills.

We could see a little light snow late on Sunday or Monday as a weak low quickly drops south behind Sunday’s arctic high. Yet another area of arctic high pressure will drop in to begin next week. This will continue our below-average temperatures. By mid-week, the weather models show a dramatic shift in our weather pattern as the polar vortex breaks down, allowing for Pacific energy to push across the northern Prairies. Confidence in this part of the forecast is low, but should it materialize, we will see Pacific air flood across the Prairies starting Wednesday. This will help to quickly scour out the arctic air, with daytime highs forecasted to push above the freezing mark by Thursday or Friday. With the projected storm track, precipitation looks to remain below average, with any significant snowfall remaining well to our north.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -19 to -3 C; lows, -32 to -12 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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