The break from the very low temperatures for the Canadian Prairies is over as arctic air is now returning to the region from a large reservoir of bitter cold weather across northern Canada. Westerly winds bringing down sloping mild, dry winds from the Rockies are being replaced by north and northeast winds as building high pressure noses southeastward from the Yukon to the northern Prairies.
Temperatures likely to take the plunge during the next several days, and we are also likely to see a couple of opportunities for some snow. Cold air is expected to back up against the Canadian Rockies and create an upslope wind flow. This pattern typically allows for some light snow across Alberta and portions of Saskatchewan. Some light snow will fall across the region into early Friday as colder air arrives and moves uphill against the higher terrain to the west and southwest.
A second chance for some snow will come Tuesday or Wednesday of next week when a weak low pressure area moves along the boundary between mild air across British Columbia and the arctic air located across the Prairies. This may spark some light to moderate snow across the region which will help build up a little more moisture for spring's seeding season.
Looking further down the road, we may see further chances of some snow, along with a tendency for lower-than-normal temperatures, later this month and into February. Current long-range models indicate that there may be a developing blocking high pressure area across Greenland during the second half of January which would keep cold air in place for western and central Canada, while milder readings continue for the West Coast.
Models that predict the average weather pattern for February are indicating that a lower-than-normal temperature and above-normal precipitation pattern could cover the Canadian Prairies.
This pattern should provide further opportunities for some snow at times across the Prairies as weak low pressure areas move along the boundary between mild and very cold air. The fly in the ointment with a weather pattern such as this would be if the ridge near the West Coast were to be a little stronger, then a much milder and drier scenario could push into at least the western Prairies at times.
© Copyright 2013 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.