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Winter storm possible next week for N Plains/Manitoba; concerns for spring flooding rising

GFS depicting only ONE possible scenerio from Tuesday to Thursday next week


As we had outlined in our February newsletter, March will continue to be active across the United States and east coast of Canada. However, there is the possibility of a major winter storm to impact the Northern Plains and Manitoba in the middle of next week. This would be bad for the already high snow-pack in the Red River Valley, which will increase the risk of significant spring flooding. Above is only one possible scenerio by one model (GFS), where you can see a strong Low pressure ejecting off the Rockies and in the Midwest, which would bring an axis of heavy snow into Manitoba. This is far in model land, so please take this with a grain of salt. Below is a much more realistic picture of model uncertainty.

GFS model trends showing multiple scenerios (no agreements) for Low track

The position of the Low and how this weekend's system will impact the next one downstream is critical and has yet to be determined. A southern track would bring little to no precipitation to Manitoba (much like this weekend's system).

ECMWF model trend showing multiple scenerios (no agreements) for next Thursday

Above is the ECMWF, a European model, considered one of the best models out there to handle cyclogenesis and Rossby Waves. Even the ECMWF is having trouble agreeing on Low track.

ECMWF one possible outlook of MSLP for next Thursday

This storm will be very important to monitor for the spring melt. Further significant snowfall will have significant impacts for the Red River floodplain. Below is the National Weather Service's flood outlook:

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