(Rural Roots Canada) – Before getting into this week’s weather outlook for Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, we’ll take a look at what was, for most of us, a dry January.
Since August of 2023, most of Canada has been in drought. December 31, the last date for which data is available, 58.54 percent of Canada was in drought, including all of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
January is a statistically dry month, so we didn’t expect much precipitation across the prairies, and indeed there wasn’t. Lower than average precipitation fell across most of the prairies, except for southern Alberta, where totals were above average. That’s misleading, though, as with the long term average so low, it takes but one snowstorm to push accumulations above normal. Here is a partial list of January precipitation totals across the prairies, with a comparison to the long term average (LTA):
Location Jan 2024 LTA
Medicine Hat 19.5 mm 13.8 mm
Lethbridge 18.5 mm 13.5 mm
Calgary 27.9 mm 9.4 mm
Red Deer 2.1 mm 22.2 mm
Grande Prairie 18.0 mm 29.9 mm
Lloydminster 12.4 mm 15.8 mm
Swift Current 2.7 mm 16.6 mm
Rosetown 11.8 mm 12.9 mm
Prince Albert 11.9 mm 16.2 mm
Saskatoon 5.6 mm 14.8 mm
Regina 5.8 mm 15.2 mm
Yorkton 3.5 mm 16.0 mm
Brandon 15.6 mm 17.8 mm
Dauphin 11.1 mm 13.7 mm
Carman 8.3 mm 17.9 mm
Portage 9.4 mm 21.3 mm
Winnipeg 7.0 mm 19.9 mm
Steinbach 14.1 mm 22.2 mm
Rain and snow fell across southern and central Alberta and Saskatchewan Feb 3 and Feb 4, but amounts were disappointing. Here are two photos from 511Alberta, showing Highway 2 south of Nanton on Friday before the snow, and Sunday after the snow.
Accumulations are minor, and this won’t do much, if anything, to alleviate the drought conditions.
So….what’s ahead for the week of February 5?
Temperatures in Alberta will hold near the seasonal average through Sunday February 11, and dry weather is expected through the week. There is, though, a chance of light snow between Jasper and Edmonton Monday afternoon. The same area could see more snow Thursday morning.
Temperatures will remain above average all across Saskatchewan this week, and there is a chance of some snow this week across the southern 2/3 of the province. Much of that snow will fall in central Saskatchewan Monday, with a chance of early morning rain between Saskatoon and Regina, with showers also possible near the Manitoba border east of Yorkton. The heaviest amounts can be expected north of Saskatoon to Buffalo Narrows. On Thursday, a Low pressure system in South Dakota will feed snow into southern Saskatchewan.
Manitoba will experience warmer than average weather this week, all across the province. Snow can be expected this week across most of the province, except for the Interlake. Above average snowfalls are anticipated north of the lakes on Monday, with lesser amounts in southern Manitoba, on Thursday.
The southern halves of all three Prairie Provinces could see more snow Friday. A Low pressure system in northwestern Minnesota will strengthen, and could produce a storm in southeastern Manitoba. Snow from that system will stretch across southern Saskatchewan and into eastern Alberta, from Lloydminster to Medicine Hat.
Finally, a map from the Meteorological Service of Canada, showing expected snow accumulations for the week ending Sunday, February 11.
COMPARE TO LAST WEEK’S FORCAST: Prairie Weather this Week