Solid precipitation falling near 0 °C, mainly snow, can adhere to surface features and produce major impacts. This study is concerned with characterizing this precipitation over the Canadian Prairie provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan in the current (2000–2013) and pseudo-global warming future climate, with an average 5.9 °C temperature increase, through the use of high resolution (4 km) model simulations. On average, simulations in the current climate suggest that this precipitation occurs within 11 events per year, lasting 33.6 h in total and producing 27.5 mm melted equivalent, but there are wide spatial variations that are partly due to enhancements arising from its relatively low terrain. Within the warmer climate, average values generally increase, and spatial patterns shift somewhat. This precipitation consists of four categories covering its occurrence just below and just above a wet-bulb temperature of 0 °C, and with or without liquid precipitation. It generally peaks in March or April, as well as in October, and these peaks move towards mid-winter by approximately one month within the warmer climate. Storms producing this precipitation generally produce winds with a northerly component during or shortly after the precipitation; these winds contribute to further damage. Overall, this study has determined the features of and expected changes to adhering precipitation across this region.
The Severe Multi-Day October 2019 Snow Storm Over Southern Manitoba, Canada
Ronald E. Stewart,
Shawn M. Milrad,
Julie M. Thériault,
Atmosphere-Ocean, Volume 60, Issue 2
ABSTRACT A devastating storm struck southern Manitoba, Canada on 10–13 October 2019, producing a large region of mainly sticky and wet snow. Accumulations reached 75 cm, wind gusts exceeded 100 km h−1, and surface temperature (T) remained near 0°C (−1°C ≤ T ≤ 1°C) for up to 88 h. It produced the largest October snowfall and was the earliest to produce at least 20 cm since 1872 in Winnipeg. These factors led to unparalleled damage and power restoration challenges for Manitoba Hydro and, with leaves still largely on vegetation, the most damaging storm to Winnipeg’s trees ever recorded. The storm’s track was uncommon, and produced elevated convection related to buoyancy-driven instability and conditional symmetric instability (CSI), with a moist absolutely unstable layer (MAUL) near 500 hPa. Instabilities were released via lift through lower-tropospheric warm advection and frontogenesis, differential cyclonic vorticity advection, and jet streak dynamics. Precipitation bands, elevated convection, and lake effect snow bands enhanced local snowfall. Snow adhering to structures was not always wet but, when present, it sometimes occurred because of incomplete freezing of particles partially melted aloft in a near-surface (<100 m deep) inversion. Although other storms over the historical record have produced a similar combination of severe precipitation, temperature and wind conditions, none have done this for such a long period.