A meteorologist with Environment Canada says the mild weather we have been experiencing the last week in southern Manitoba could stick around for at least another week. In fact, Natalie Hasell says the next few days should be even warmer, possibly record-setting.
The weather took a turn last week Saturday after the Polar Vortex had plunged temperatures to nearly -30 degrees. During the last few days, temperatures have hovered near the freezing mark. Natalie Hasell says that is because of what is happening to the north of us. She explains there is a low up in the north, but it is centered more towards Greenland and the flow around it is not allowing anything to trek down to southern Manitoba.
In addition to that, Hasell says there is a ridge centered over the western sections of the United States that is building on the western side of the continent. This will also continue to provide warm air to the Prairies over the next few days.
"If this were summer, we'd be talking about a heat dome," explains Hasell. "Right now, we are talking about above-normal conditions."
Taking a look at the forecast for the next week in Steinbach, Environment Canada is calling for Sunday to be the warmest day at four degrees. If we reach that temperature, we will shatter the record for January 28. The warmest temperature ever recorded in Steinbach on January 28 was +1.5 degrees back in 1992.
And even though Sunday is right now the only day in the next week that looks poised to break a record, Environment Canada is calling for daytime highs to be at or above zero each day from Saturday through Wednesday. And overnight lows are not expected to dip colder than -5 degrees during that stretch. The normal high for this time of year is -11, while the normal overnight low is -20.
Earlier this week, the seven-day forecast by Environment Canada had temperatures of at least seven degrees in Steinbach.
"The seven and eight degrees would be difficult to (reach), especially considering how much snow there is on the ground," admits Hasell. "There's enough snow on the ground that it will actually stop the air temperature from getting above five (degrees)."
Hasell says if by chance there is a lot of snow that melts on Saturday and Sunday with the mainly sunny sky in the forecast, then it is entirely possible that Monday will be warmer than the forecast high of +3.
According to Hasell, right now their weather models are indicating that the very unseasonably mild weather should last until at least February 4th. She notes after that it appears that things will cool off and we could experience temperatures down to -20 degrees once again. However, she cautions that there is not a lot of certainty in forecasting temperatures that far down the road.
Meanwhile, she notes that there is also not a lot of precipitation expected over the next week. However, Hasell says anytime you have cloud cover at this time of year, it can produce precipitation. She says some models are showing a greater chance of precipitation starting on February 3rd, just as things begin to potentially cool off again. Hasell explains that the passage of a cold front associated with a low-pressure system could probably bring precipitation.