Winnipeg and the prairies in for an extended period of bitter cold

Winnipeg and the prairies in for an extended period of bitter cold

January 14, 2019

Other than New Year’s Day, Winnipeg has enjoyed mild weather for January. Temperatures got above 0 C twice, stayed above -20 C every day since Jan 1, and only one time have temperatures not warmed up past -10 C.

So far, the daily mean temperature sits at -9.7 C which is close to late November weather but get ready to take a hard turn into some serious cold.

Heavy snow from low pressure will move over Manitoba Monday and Monday night. Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a number of snowfall warnings for northern Manitoba with 10-15 cm of snow expected.

Southern Manitoba may see a little snow, but the main effect of this system will be the warmer air it pulls up from the south. As this system clears, high pressure descends upon the prairies and the cold begins.

NAM Model showing forecast temperatures for Jan 16, 2019

Temperatures are likely to fall in Winnipeg on Tuesday and continue to do so into Wednesday morning where the city is likely to start the day near -30 C. From there, and for what looks like at least a full week, the city will see temperatures ranging from around -30 C in the morning and up to -20 C in the afternoon.

Ensemble models show are in agreement that this will be an extended period of cold weather. For over a week, Winnipeg and southern Manitoba will be in the deep freeze.

Extreme Cold Warnings are possible as early as Monday night with wind chill values near -45 possible. In southern Manitoba, the criteria for Extreme Cold Warnings to be issued is when temperature or wind chill is expected to reach -40 for at least two hours. While it does not look like Brandon or Winnipeg will routinely meet this criteria due to generally light winds, wind speeds do not need to be very strong to make temperatures around -25 C or -30 C feel like -40.

Environment Canada Wind Chill Chart.

Here’s a look at Winnipeg’s 7p-day forecast.

Beyond the this period, long range models from Environment and Climate Change Canada indicate temperatures are likely to stay below normal through until nearly the end of the month.

Forecast probability of below normal temperatures for January 22- January 29, 2019.

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