It appears the cold snap is over for southern Manitoba as daytime temperatures are warming up.
“Today is actually the transition day in which we're seeing a lot of the upper atmosphere starting to shift and allow more of a westerly flow aloft, bringing in all that mild Pacific air in from Vancouver Island,” explains Eric Dykes, meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.
“And as a result, we're starting to see the temperatures rise. They were rising overnight, in fact, and into Sunday morning and we're starting to see and reap the benefits of that warmer air today as we get into Monday as well to start the work week. And things will just continue to rise as we get through the week with temperatures reaching, or perhaps eclipsing, the freezing mark by Wednesday for most of southern Manitoba.”
Dykes says that would bring daytime highs between 10 and 15 degrees above normal for this time of year.
Sunday’s high of –8 was already a big difference from the cold weather in the past couple of weeks that also saw Extreme Cold warnings issued for the Southeast.
Environment and Climate Change Canada is forecasting a high of –9 for Monday, followed by –4 for Tuesday, and then a significant warm-up of +1 for Wednesday. There is a chance of some snow Sunday night and into Monday. A cloudy sky is expected to last all week long.
While Dykes says it’s too early to say how long this warm weather will last, he believes it’s here for at least a couple of weeks.
“When we do look at some of the long-term models that are run out of our supercomputers and Dorval QC, they are indicating that for the remainder of the month and into the beginning of February though, we will be seeing above seasonal temperatures, not necessarily saying we're going to see freezing, 0° temperatures for daytime highs, through the next month or so, but we are going to be seeing temperatures are going to be above seasonal. So perhaps temperatures -10, -, 5 or so forth for at least the foreseeable future. Past that into the latter half of February, it's a little bit more speculative.
Dykes says this warm winter weather is the result of El Nino, which tends to bring warmer and drier air to the region.
As southern Manitoba is warming up, it’s a different story for the northern part of the province.
“We’ll be issuing, more than likely, for the very northern portions of the province later on tonight, Extreme Cold Warnings, where they’ll be getting windchills of –45 and –50 in some cases near Churchill tonight,” Dykes says. “It’s quite a vast difference we’re seeing from the south to the north when it comes to temperatures today and into Monday.”