With Christmas just a few days away, even more eyes than usual are on the forecast with many families planning travel across Southern Manitoba, and beyond, in the coming days. According to CMOS Accredited Weathercaster Chris Sumner, we may see some minor impacts over Christmas Eve through Boxing Day, but at this point, there are no major winter storms on the horizon.
"The general trend of well below average temperatures will continue through the weekend and into early next week," he explained. "That Arctic airmass has really settled in over Western Canada as a deep trough in the jet stream allows those cold conditions to hunker down for at least another five to seven days. Highs today and tomorrow will remain in that -19 to -21 range, with just the ever so slightest of warm-ups happening December 24th through 26th. Temperatures will start to creep back toward seasonal, ranging between -15 and -19, with the warmest conditions, if you can call them that, expected Boxing Day. That upward trend will coincide with a return to a southerly flow, and seasonal temperatures for the final days of 2022."
Average daytime highs for this time of year are -11 daytime and -21 overnight.
Ahead of the weekend, Sumner noted we can expect blustery conditions Thursday night through much of Friday as Southern Manitoba is impacted by the far northern fringes of a major winter storm moving through parts of the U.S., and ultimately Southern Ontario and Quebec.
"That low pressure system will be responsible for the light snow, perhaps a couple centimeters at most, from Thursday morning through Friday morning," he added. "The real impact will come in the form of strong, northerly winds gusting between 50 and 60km/h from now through Friday evening. Those wind gusts, combined with the light snow expected and the previous flakes we've had this week, could lead to blowing snow and reduced visibility during that period of time, but that will hinge heavily on whether additional snowfall does occur and the winds really pick-up."
The gusty winds will also push windchill values near -40 Thursday night into Friday morning, and keep them in the mid -30s for much of the day tomorrow.
"We're expecting breezy conditions to continue into Saturday, before they start to back-off, and the shift to southerly winds begins ahead of next week's return to warmer conditions."
Looking ahead to Christmas Day, there continues to be signs of an Alberta clipper rolling quickly through the province, potentially bringing a dusting of snow, with a second clipper possible in the December 27th to 28th timeframe.
"In both cases, we're still a little early to say much more definitively, but at least for the first clipper Christmas Day it's looking like we could see a few flurries, but travel impacts should be minimal."