First severe thunderstorm warning of the season, with special air quality statement –

Updated at 6:35 p.m. Saturday, May 11 – all severe thunderstorm watches west of the Red River have ended. There is a 60% chance of showers or thunderstorms this evening, with strong winds persisting until diminishing overnight.


An unseasonably warm May 11 could end with a few other rare weather events for this time of year; strong to severe thunderstorms and poor air quality due to wildfire smoke.

Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for much of southern Manitoba, from as far west as Boissevain through Killarney to Pilot Mound, Manitou, Morden/Winkler, Altona and all areas east of the Red River to the Ontario border.

“A strong westerly flow throughout Saturday pumped a very warm and dry air mass into the region for this year,” explained CMOS accredited meteorologist Chris Sumner. “A low pressure system located in northern Manitoba is moving eastward, and the associated cold front could trigger scattered thunderstorms Saturday evening. Since this air mass is very dry, there is little chance of widespread severe weather or heavy, widespread rain. the storms that develop. Strong wind gusts are the biggest concern with this setup. »

As the cold front passes, winds will turn to the north late at night and stay there through Mother’s Day Sunday, with gusts up to 50 km/h. Daytime high temperatures will also be ten degrees colder than Saturday, reaching around 18 to 20 degrees. Parts of Pembina and the Red River Valley reached 30 degrees late Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the combination of strong northerly winds behind this depression and wildfires burning in the Flin Flon and The Pas areas results in a band of wildfire smoke moving south to across Manitoba. This band will result in 4-8 hours of poor air quality and reduced visibility as the smoke moves.

Conditions will improve Saturday evening in central Manitoba. The band of smoke will move towards southern Manitoba during the evening. Conditions in the south will improve on Sunday morning.

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