The changing weather patterns across North America during the coming days will deliver some relief to the frozen Prairies as some Pacific air makes the trip up and over the Rockies into southern and southwest Canada. Don't get used to the mild readings, because it looks like colder weather may return by the middle and end of next week and finish out February.
The jet stream flow that has helped deliver Arctic cold to much of Canada, as well as across the Prairies during the recent week, looks like it will shift far enough north and east to allow milder Pacific air to overspread southwest Canada during the weekend. We have already seen episodes of this warming pattern across the western Prairies during January, but Manitobans have been left out of the warming trend most of the time.
It appears this time even Manitoba may feel some of the warming effects of the Chinook winds riding down off of the Rockies by Sunday or more so early to middle of next week. A weak clipper low pressure area may deliver light to moderate snow to the central and eastern Prairies Sunday and delay milder weather. Farther west, the prospects for snowfall are lower with most of the flow coming down off of the Rockies, which tends to dry out the air mass.
As we move into the second half of next week the jet stream flow is again expected to begin to bend southward across Western Canada allowing Arctic air stored across northern Canada to again make the journey southward. As the transition from mild to cold occurs, we may see a period of snow in many areas as the colder air rolls up against the Rockies creating an upslope condition late next week.
Some of the longer range models indicate that when the cold pattern returns that it may stick around for the remainder of February and very possibly into March. If this cold pattern continues through March and April, we could start to see some problems for the beginning of the new planting season, but there is still plenty of time for changes to this outlook that far out.
Doug Webster can be reached at email@example.com
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