With the first major winter storm of the season knocking on the door of the Red River Valley and Southeastern Manitoba, at this point, it looks like our side of the border will be spared the most impactful weather from this system. Ahead of the Colorado low's expected arrival during the early morning hours of Thursday, the U.S. National Weather Service has issued Blizzard Warnings and Winter Storm Warnings for much of North Dakota, right up to the Canadian border.
Snowfall Warnings are now in effect for all of Southeastern Manitoba.
According to Sumner, at this point, the forecast models are indicating the heaviest swath of snow will stay south of our region, but possibly clip the far southeastern corner of the province pointing to the Sprague and Buffalo Point area.
"Based on the current storm track, the most likely region to see snowfall from this system is from Morden eastward to the Ontario border, and then along a line from Morden through Winnipeg and the Whiteshell, and southeast from that. Areas west of the Manitoba escarpment, will see some snowfall, but it will more than likely be only a few centimeters."
Sumner stressed Colorado lows are notorious for shifts in their track that can lead to a significant change in expected snowfall totals for a given area. With that in mind, and using the current forecast as the guide, he expects 10 to 15cms generally across the region, with the possibility of up to 25cms in areas east of the Red River. Overall, he feels totals toward the higher end of the range will occur as you move east along the international border.
"At this point, we’re not talking a real dump in Southern Manitoba, at least compared to the U.S. side, with the current guidance firmly indicating the heaviest swath of snow remaining in central North Dakota and northern Minnesota," he explained. "With that said, we are watching this storm's track very closely."
Another important aspect to this low pressure system is the gusty winds that will develop.
"Northerly gusts up to 60 km/h will arrive before lunch on Thursday," he said. "Those winds, coupled with snow beginning in the Red River Valley and Southeastern Manitoba, will lead to visibility being reduced. You’ll want to double check road conditions Thursday night before heading out."
Looking ahead to Friday and beyond, we’re expecting a mix of sun and cloud from Remembrance Day through the weekend, with much cooler temperatures than so far this week.
"In behind this storm, high pressure will build in from the Arctic, and that means a trough will develop in the jet stream, and that combination means a cold airmass settling into our region," added Sumner. "Highs Thursday through Sunday will be in the -4 to -8 range, with average daytime highs around -1."