Winter’s still hanging on

Spring is typically the toughest time of the year to forecast the weather as the atmosphere becomes a battleground between winter and summer air masses. This year seems to be particularly tough on the weather models as they routinely make dramatic changes to their forecasts every six to 12 hours. This is exactly what happened to last week’s forecast. The models predicted a significant outbreak of cold air during this week, but about 12 to 24 hours after sending out the forecast they began to change, eventually doing an almost 180-degree turn!

Keep this in mind for this forecast period, as the models continue to be all over the place. The models start this forecast period with an area of low pressure moving in off the Pacific and into central Canada on Wednesday. Most of the energy with this system will move through the northern Prairies during the second half of this week. South of this low we’ll see a warm front try and push through. This front will bring milder temperatures along with a chance for some light snow. Cool high pressure is then forecast to slide in behind this over the weekend.

Next week is when things become interesting. The weather models keep trying to develop a significant winter storm that impacts southern and eastern regions starting around next Monday or Tuesday. Confidence in this is very low. For over a week now the models have been developing a strong storm system and then weakening the storm 24 hours later, only to redevelop it on a different day once again 24 hours later! The latest model run shows the storm developing over Colorado on Monday and then moving into our region on Tuesday, bringing snow and blowing snow.

While the odds on seeing this storm system develop are really low, it’s something to watch, as any addition of significant snow could have a dramatic effect on this spring’s flood forecast.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -10 to 3 C; lows, -23 to -5 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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