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City of Winnipeg one of Canada’s windiest: Environment Canada climatologist

The corner of Portage Avenue and Main Street is known for its windy nature, but Winnipeg and southern Manitoba have seen an unusual amount of wind this past month.
The corner of Portage Avenue and Main Street is known for its windy nature, but Winnipeg and southern Manitoba have seen an unusual amount of wind this past month. Shane Gibson/Global News

Winnipeg‘s famous intersection of Portage and Main is notorious for being windy, but what about the rest of the city?

According to Dave Phillips of Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Manitoba capital is near the top of the list of windiest Canadian cities.

“Winnipeg is a windy place, no questions about it,” said Phillips.

“There are a few places in Saskatchewan that are windier on average… but I did a study of 100 cities across Canada, and a lot of them are windy spots along the coast, but Winnipeg comes out to be the seventh- or eighth-windiest spot in Canada.

“It’s free-flowing air. There’s no terrain that helps to deter winds or hinder winds or any friction that would break the winds up. They pretty well move from high-levels to low levels at pretty well the same speed.”

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Read more: High wind effect warning issued for south shores of Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipeg

Phillips said there were only three days in September where winds didn’t gust above 30 km/h, so Winnipeggers aren’t imagining things — it’s been a windy fall so far.

“I think there’s a large system over Hudson Bay and a ridge over the pacific, and that combination encourages a northwesterly wind across the province, and certainly you’ve been stuck in that.”

If you are not a fan of the wind, there is some good news. Manitobans who remember 2019’s devastating Thanksgiving weekend snowstorms will be happy to know 2020 will be radically different over the same period.

“Summer weather is not over,” he said. “(Forecasts are) showing for October to be warmer and drier than normal.

“This year is very different. My sense is that more of these breezes — however strong they’re going to be — may be more from the south rather than the north as they’ve come.

“There’s still a lot of good summery-type weather — it’s October weather, not July weather — but I wouldn’t put the snow tires on quite yet.”

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