Churchill is briefly Manitoba‘s hot spot on New Year‘s Eve

For a brief time on Sunday, Manitoba‘s largest northern town was also the province‘s hot spot.

At about 9 a.m. Churchill‘s daytime high ‘soared‘ to -23.3 C, while others like Lynn Lake saw temperatures of -23.4 C.

Meanwhile in southern Manitoba, cities like Brandon, Portage la Prairie and Winnipeg stayed in the deep, deep freeze with temperatures hovering between -32 C and -29 C.

Environment Canada meteorologist Alysa Pederson said this time, the province can blame our eastern neighbours in Saskatchewan.

“What has caused the cold is a ridge of high pressure that has sat right over Saskatchewan. So east of it, so for Manitoba, you‘ve had northwesterly winds bring in a lot of cold arctic air. As this ridge has slumped south, so now it‘s in southern Saskatchewan, moving into Montana and North Dakota, we‘re actually getting warm air on the north side of that, cutting through the northern prairies, the Northwest Territories, into northern Manitoba.

Winnipeggers and most Manitobans are facing another round of extremely cold temperatures. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

“So we‘re getting a little bit of warming coming in and around … the warm air is coming in from the north this time.”

While that may seem counter-intuitive, it does happen, said Pederson. “It‘s definitely backwards from what usually happens, but we have seen it before … when there‘s a lot of cold air entrenched in the prairies.”

Southern Manitobans aren‘t alone, however, with pretty much the entire country locked in a deep freeze, with the exception of the west coast, said Pederson.

There is relief in sight for southern Manitoba, she said, with a slight warm up expected to happen Monday and temperatures shifting to a more normal range.

“There will be a brief warm up with a system that moves through the central part of the province on Monday into Tuesday. Then it will cool off again — not to what it is right now, it will cool off more to more like the -23 C range, and then next week it looks to warm up again to around the -15 C range, so closer to normal.”

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