Precipitation prospects across the Canadian Prairies are showing some signs of improvement at least in the short term. While winter has set in for most of the region we still have the need for some precipitation to help with the dry conditions that took hold during the fall. Winter moisture may remain on the ground in the form of snow and ice but as spring arrives and melting commences the moisture will find its' way into the soil. A good soil moisture base is needed to support spring crop planting and development.
During the next day or two an impressive winter storm will develop across the north central U.S. Rockies. At the same time arctic air will drain southward through the Canadian Rockies and meet up near the U.S./Canadian border area Friday. This storm is then expected to track to the northern U.S. Plains and then into central Ontario by Sunday.
This expected storm track should bring heavy snow and most likely blizzard conditions to southern Alberta, southern Saskatchewan, and most of central and southern Manitoba during the next 60 hours. Very cold temperatures and strengthening winds are likely to produce significant blowing and drifting snow.
The heaviest snow totals are expected to occur from southern Saskatchewan to central and southern Manitoba where 6-12 inches (15-30 cm) of snow should fall. Locally heavier amounts are likely. Lighter snow amounts are expected across the remaining Prairies with next to nothing for the northern portion of Alberta.
The future forecast for the region may not be so promising with a drier and milder weather pattern expected to take hold by early next week and extending out for another 10 days or so. The main storm track is expected to lift to the north of the region which tends to bring drier and milder westerly winds to the region. Most of the moisture from the Pacific is blocked by the Rockies with that kind of storm track.