‘Don’t gloat too much’: Manitoba avoids extreme cold of western provinces… for now

Snow clearing on a residential street in Winnipeg. Elisha Dacey/Global News

With a high of -20 C in the forecast for Wednesday, Winnipeg isn’t exactly experiencing a heatwave, but as a senior climatologist with Environment Canada told 680 CJOB, it could be a lot worse.

All you have to do is look at the punishing conditions winter is handing to the other western Canadian provinces.

“Across the far west, we have extreme weather cold warnings out for all of Alberta and most of Saskatchewan,” said Dave Phillips.

“You’ve got that cold sitting over Alberta, just feeding them day after day, this brutally cold weather with almost inhospitable windchills. In the southern part of Manitoba, you’re getting these weather systems that are bringing a shot of precipitation, a little bit of snow, but enough southwesterly air to keep that cold air pent up farther to the west.”

READ MORE: City crews in ‘ready-to-serve’ mode as Winnipeg awaits forecasted snowfall

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Even in balmy British Columbia, residents are dealing with a heavier-than-usual dose of winter.

“They’ll have more snow in January than Winnipeg’s had so far,” said Phillips. “You don’t often see that. They could probably, in three days, have a year’s worth of snow, and they don’t have a lot of snow-moving equipment there.

“Temperatures seem balmy by most Canadian standards, but for them, it’s still pretty cold. You get several days in a row with freezing temperatures, which is not something that they can often put up with.”

Phillips warned, however, that Manitobans shouldn’t gloat too much about avoiding extreme weather – so far.

“This can sometimes turn on you,” he said.

“In Manitoba, I think your cold air is coming in the next a couple of days… and then a warm-up and then some normal seasonable-type temperatures.

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“I don’t think you’re going to punished, because your time is coming. I think Manitobans can say, ‘We’ve weathered winter so far. We’ve had more snow than normal but not as much cold. We’re at the halfway point.’

“Every day now gets a little milder than the previous day because we’re at the dead of winter kind of moment, which I think is something to celebrate.”

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