Winnipeg experiences some truly remarkable weather. As a snow and lawn service provider, we get to observe this weather first hand. Here’s some of our good and bad experiences with the weather in Winnipeg.
As most Winnipeggers know, the prairie climate is something that needs to be experienced by all at least once. From stunning summer sunsets to violent thunderstorms that can roll in on a moments notice, a real variety of weather patterns hit our city. Take for instance the fact that at the time of writing this article, Winnipeg went from -30C to +5C within 48 hours. There aren’t too many places in the world that have this privilege, if -30C is considered a privilege!
Winnipeg is typically a very windy city which means we can dry out very quickly after a torrential downpour, but it also means we can experience incredible drifting in the winter. Drifts can occur faster than one can imagine and high winds in open areas can create a zero visibility situation very quickly. When I say zero visibility I mean zero visibility. As in, you can’t even see the hood of your car when driving. It is very difficult to drive at all, let alone safely in these conditions. Of course the wind also exaggerates the cold Winnipeg temperatures. While -30C can be cold for most people without the wind, add a stiff north breeze and it can feel like -50C. I have personally shoveled snow at -52C with the windchill. The key to managing this temperature is to have no exposed skin. Use thick gloves, many layers, cold weather socks, and a balaclava and goggles on your face. In fact, if you take all of these precautions you might even be overheating!
Once this snow starts to melt, Winnipeg becomes a dirty, pothole filled mess. Even so, there’s nothing like spring in the air. The flowers start blooming, trees begin to bud and everything comes alive. Our summers are our staple. Winnipeg gets very hot weather during the summer season and Hero gets to experience this first hand. Summer temperatures routinely get above 30 degrees centigrade and when you add in the humidity they typically reach 40C on multiple occasions each summer. These kinds of temperatures make it imperative to crank up the air conditioning and stay inside when you can. Some people like the heat but the heat can do a major toll on the body, even more so than cold. In the cold you can bundle up, in the heat there are only so many clothes you can take off.
With the heat comes the chances for violent prairie thunderstorms which can roll in unannounced. It’s amazing how a hot sunny day can change to a thunder and lightning strike event in less than an hour. Lightning can be very dangerous and 9-10 people are killed every year in Canada from lightning strikes. The danger is that lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from any rainfall so we take these risks very seriously in our job. We get enough exposure to Winnipeg’s heat, we don’t need to be fried by a lightning bolt! Aside from the dangers of lightning the storms are truly a spectacle when viewed from a safe location. The clouds, the winds, the amazing light show and the loud rumble of thunder always brings excitement to the weather watcher. Sometimes the storm can be even more violent and create hail or tornado’s which aren’t uncommon in the Winnipeg area. People should take immediate shelter if these conditions occur but once sheltered the offer the same kinds of excitement as the thunderstorms that typically precede them.
After the storm has passed there is usually an amazing display of color with a rainbow. Winnipeg gets many other gorgeous color displays like pink and orange prairie sunsets and northern lights (when not obscured by city lights).
Winnipeg truly is exposed to incredible weather patterns for those who take an interest in that sort of thing. Hero gets a first hand view of these events as we are often outside working during or because of these events. Go out an enjoy the weather but BE SAFE when doing so. Weather that is amazing to observe can also kill you.