Thunder Bay – WEATHER – There are two weather systems we are watching tonight in the NetNewsLedger newsroom.
First, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is reporting that a slow moving weather system will lead to a prolonged period of snow across the western shores of Lake Superior in Minnesota starting on Wednesday night.
There is the risk of a brief period of freezing rain that will be possible when precipitation starts.
Snow will then continue for Thursday and into Friday before ending Friday night.
Lake-effect snow will then continue along the northwest Wisconsin snowbelt into Saturday.
The highest snowfall is expected across parts of the Minnesota Arrowhead and much of northwest Wisconsin, where totals over 4” are looking likely. With this being a prolonged event, multiple commutes are expected to be impacted starting Thursday morning.
Looking into Friday, the heaviest snow, potentially 15-30 centimetres is forecast from northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin to part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the northern shores of Lake Superior in Ontario.
Alberta Clipper Blowing Eastward
The second system we are watching is a weather system developing across Western Canada, which has Alberta, Saskatchewan and now parts of Manitoba under weather advisories.
The Alberta clipper is bringing strong winds into southern and central Saskatchewan today.
Regina is under a winter storm watch. Strong winds and blowing snow developing Wednesday afternoon according to Environment Canada. The weather service says that a strong low pressure system will track across Saskatchewan on Wednesday. Strong west to northwest winds, with gusts of 90-110 km/h, will develop by Wednesday afternoon. These strong winds will subside to below 90 km/h Thursday morning, but will remain blustery into Thursday night.
Snow, at times heavy, will track into the area Wednesday evening, with the potential for local pockets of 5-10 cm by Thursday morning. The heavy snowfall will taper off Thursday morning, but some flurries will linger into Thursday night.
This storm is tracking eastward.
In Winnipeg there is snow in the forecast starting with freezing rain on Wednesday which is forecast to turn to snow by later in the day.
Kenora is forecast to see snow starting later this week as well. On Wednesday night it will start to become cloudy in the evening then periods of snow will start. There is a risk of freezing rain late in the evening and overnight. The snow will continue into Friday.
In the longer term forecast, there may be an end coming to the above seasonal temperatures that Western and Northern Ontario have been experiencing.
Environment Canada’s senior climatologist David Philips, as we first reported on January 10th says that colder temperatures are coming toward the end of the month.
If Phillips is right, the weather term “Polar Vortex” is going to become the weather norm by the end of January. While the coldest temperatures of the winter are often in January and February, Phillips is predicting a shift in the jet stream. which has been allowing warmer Pacific air in recent weeks to block the colder Arctic air mass from moving south.
Phillips reports, “One of the indicators is the jet stream – a river of air that blows from west to east – that has been flooding Canada with a lot of Pacific air and southerly air. It acts as a fence to the vortex, keeping it in the north,”
“It’s not a sure thing that it’s going to happen. I’ve looked at our models and it looks like in the fourth week of January we will begin to see cold air plunging down from Manitoba to Quebec and into the Maritimes. In the Prairies it will be generally normal,” says Philips.
“There’s nothing guaranteed with weather and it’s not often well understood to give us a precise forecast.”
That last statement is one all of us here at NetNewsLedger can completely agree with. Weather can be as predictable as it is unpredictable.
Stay tuned, and we promise to keep you up to date on all the weather in our region.