Southern Manitoba residents could start to see and smell it over the weekend and Monday, and as of Tuesday morning forest fire smoke has definitely arrived in the region. Environment Canada has issued a Special Air Quality Statement for much of the region west of the Red River to the Saskatchewan border, and northward to the Riding Mountain National Park area.
"An upper northwesterly flow in the atmosphere has acted like a conveyor belt, transporting that forest fire smoke from northern Alberta and B.C. to our area," explained CMOS Accredited Weathercaster Chris Sumner. "Based on the current forecast models, it's likely we will see hazy and smoky conditions for much of the week, ahead of May long weekend."
Sumner noted, depending on how much smoke actually makes it to our region, daytime highs could be impacted somewhat in the coming days.
"The smoke could lead to highs being a couple degrees cooler than if there wasn't any smoke in the area, so rather than pushing 30 degrees today and Wednesday, I expect the mid to upper 20s is probably where we'll land," he said. "We'll still be above average for this time of year, but the impact of the smoke will moderated temperatures somewhat."
Looking ahead, the only real chance of precipitation this week is Wednesday night into early Thursday morning as an Alberta clipper moves through the province.
"There is a lot of uncertainty regarding whether we'll see much precipitation from this low pressure system," said Sumner. "There isn't a lot of available moisture in the air right now, considering the low humidity levels, and the smoke is also a limiting factor reducing instability in the atmosphere."
Behind the system, we'll sink below seasonal for Thursday, but another ridge of high pressure is expected to build into the region before May long weekend, meaning a return to sunny and warm conditions, more than likely several degrees above average for this time of year.
"Daytime we should be around 21 degrees and overnight about 7," he noted. "After a seasonal and sunny day Friday, the remainder of the weekend is looking like it will land between24 and 29 Friday through Monday, with little chance of rainfall."