Between daytime highs nearly ten degrees above average, very strong southerly winds and dusty conditions produced by the combination of both, it was quite the Thursday across the Pembina and Red River Valleys.

And why was it so windy, yesterday?

"We had an area of low pressure approaching from our west, and with the surface high pressure over the region at the time, the air between the two was getting squished together," explained CMOS Accredited Weathercaster Chris Sumner. "The counterclockwise motion of the low led to the gusty southerly winds, and the pressure gradient (the difference) between the two airmasses amplified how breezy it got."

For the latest forecast details, click here.

The gusty winds are expected to continue Friday, but not to the same extent as Thursday when there were some reported peek wind gusts nearing 80km/h. Today gusts are forecast to reach between 30 to 50km/h.

Below are some of the peek wind gusts recorded by Environment Canada and the Manitoba Ag Weather Network:

Morris - 81 km/h
Brunkild - 80 km/h
Gretna/Somerset/Snowflake - 76 km/h
Kane - 75 km/h
Elm Creek/Dominion City - 73 km/h
Altona 72 km/h
Jordan - 70 km/h
Pilot Mound - 65 km/h
Carman - 62 km/h
Emerson/Manitou - 59 km/h
Winkler - 58/km
Morden - 55 km/h

blowing dirt on the horizonThursday's strong winds led to blowing top soil and dust obscuring the horizon across the region. This picture was taken Thursday afternoon, looking northwestard from Altona's west side.

Meanwhile, on the temperature side of things, highs soared to nearly ten degrees above average across much of the region, with 16 degrees the usual for this point in April. Below are some of daytime highs recorded by Environment Canada and the Manitoba Ag Weather Network. All readings in Celsius.

Elm Creek/Jordan - 25.9
Morden - 25.8
Carman - 25.7
Kane - 25.1
Gretna/Winkler - 25.0
Pilot Mound - 24.9
Altona/Brunkild - 24.8
Emerson - 24.1
Manitou - 23.9
Morris - 23.8
Dominion City - 23.3
Winnipeg (The Forks) - 23.2
Sprague - 21.7

Sumner noted, as we get into the weekend, conditions will change considerably with cooler temperatures and showers expected.

"We have a couple things at play, one a cold front will pass through today as a low crosses the province, and as it does we'll see temperatures drop this afternoon into the upper single-digits between 7 and 9 degrees," he said. "Alongside that, this low will lead to showers developing this morning. Secondly, a low moving through the central U.S. Plains will 'take over' from the Manitoba low, if you will, and continue the showers and periods of rain through Friday night and into Saturday morning. The clouds should start clearing by early Saturday afternoon, with some peeks of sunshine."

And that's only the start of the precipitation this weekend, which Sumner stressed is certainly needed across the region.

"A final system is forecast to take a similar track to the second one, again moving through the U.S. Plains northeastward, and that will bring additional rain chance Sunday into Monday," he added. 

Overall, he feels 10 to 15mm is possible throughout much of Southern Manitoba between Friday morning and Sunday night.

Temperatures are expected to remain below average from Friday afternoon through Monday, struggling to get much warmer than 8 to 10 degrees. Sumner expects a southerly flow to return Tuesday into Wednesday, and that will mean a rebound in daytime highs back to seasonal, or slightly above, by the first day or two of May.