It's going to feel a lot less like winter in the coming days.
The Portage la Prairie area will see a period of unseasonably warm weather, with daytime highs expected on the weekend that could set temperature records.
Environment Canada forecasts temperatures as high as 9 C over the next few days, well above the average daytime high for mid-February in the Portage area of about -7 C.
“Starting on Friday we have a setup with a ridge of high pressure sitting over (Colorado), and an area of low pressure in the North West Territories,” Environment Canada meteorologist Natalie Hasell says. “In between the two, most of the southern Prairies are going to see a flow of air from the west.”
“Also, the forecasts for Friday and Saturday this week are sunny, which will help warm things up more.”
Depending on ground conditions and sunlight, Hasell explains, temperatures on Friday and Saturday could approach record highs in Portage la Prairie. The record high on Feb. 17 was set in 1981 at 11.2 C. The record for Feb. 18 was set in 1954 at 5 C. As of Wednesday evening, Friday's high was predicted to be 9 C and Saturday's was 7 C.
“If we get rid of enough snow and the temperatures the day before get warm enough, we could break the record on Saturday,” Hasell says.
The warm spell is expected to continue throughout the weekend and into early next week, then temperatures will drop slightly in line with seasonal norms as a low pressure system moves in bringing winds from the north Sunday night.