The second Colorado Low to hit the province in a week will start impacting Southern and Central regions late tonight, and will hang around through Sunday. Environment Canada has issued a Special Weather Statement ahead of the storm’s arrival, indicating significant precipitation is likely for the Red River Valley and Southeastern Manitoba.
“Winter weary Manitobans will be put to the test one more time over the next three days, with yet another potent and moisture packed storm set to bring significant precipitation to a large portion of the province,” explained CMOS Accredited Weathercaster Chris Sumner. “There are a lot of similarities to what’s lining up this weekend from Friday to Sunday compared to last week, but also potentially some significant differences.”
Sumner stressed the most important things to know right now are precipitation, in some form, is essentially a guarantee over the course of the three days. The second thing to keep in mind, like all Colorado lows, the storm’s track will play a huge role in which areas see the most precipitation, and most importantly for those tired of shoveling snow, what form that precipitation will take.
“As we saw with last week’s event, small changes in the storm’s track can lead to major changes in precipitation type, wind speed and duration,” he explained. “There is growing confidence in the expected path of this low, but there is also still uncertainty, so we can expect to see the forecast adjust to reflect those changes”
According to Environment Canada, at this point, it’s appearing this will likely be mainly a rain event for the Red River Valley and Southeastern parts of the province. The Red River Valley and Southeastern Manitoba will experience periods of heavy rain, at times mixed with snow or freezing rain. On Saturday, there’s event the risk of thunderstorms, with the potential of 25 to 50 mm of rain, especially over up-slope areas of the Red River Valley.
Based on the current projections for the storm’s track, the heaviest snow and strongest winds are expected to stay in southeastern Saskatchewan, along an axis through the Parkland. Storm-total accumulations of 25 to 50 cm are expected to fall in those regions, but will vary drastically throughout the rest of the province.
“This Colorado low, just like last week, is being fueled by moisture pulled northward from the Gulf of Mexico, giving it ample opportunity to drop significant totals,” said Sumner. “Again, I need to stress, those totals will be dictated, ultimately, by the storm’s path. That means, yes, 25 to 50mm of rainfall is the range we’re expecting, but where that range falls, and what the final range ends up being could, and more than likely, will change as the low’s path becomes clearer.”
Also, strong winds gusting from 60 to 90 km/h will encompass a large area of Southern Manitoba, beginning Saturday, through Sunday.
Confidence regarding the track is slowly improving, but remains uncertain and deviations in the track could lead to significant changes in the projected storm-total accumulations, precipitation type and wind speeds over the region.
“My take home message today is we're headed for a very wet weekend,” said Sumner. “Now what that ‘wet’ looks like is still somewhat of a question mark, but for the Red River Valley and Southeastern Manitoba, it’s looking likely a rain gauge will be more useful this weekend than a snowblower.”
The system is expected to move into Ontario on Monday. Lingering flurries will remain for most of the province, but with no significant accumulations expected.