The old saying is ‘April showers bring May flowers.’ What the expression forgets is that April, particularly here in southeast Saskatchewan, is often dominated by high winds. Over the past 10 years, roughly 22 of the 30 days in the month see wind speeds reach more than 35 kilometres an hour. 

The reason for the winds in the southeast, particularly in the spring and in the autumn, has to do with three separate factors – geography, the temperature differences between areas to the north and the south, and the jet stream, explained Terri Lang. She is a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.  

“It is flat, so that helps with the winds to get going,” Lang explained. However, it isn’t completely flat, which is a big factor when it comes to the wind.  

“Across southeastern Saskatchewan, there’s a very broad valley – doesn't seem like when you drive it, seems flat – but there’s quite a broad valley, the Wascana Basin, that runs from Regina, down through Weyburn, Estevan, and it tends to funnel southeast winds and northwest winds,” Lang added.  

The temperatures are also a big factor, with the spring starting to warm things up gradually from the south to the north. As the sun starts to get higher in the sky, and up for longer periods of time, the temperature difference begins to even out. Until that does, however, things get a bit breezy. 

“The stronger the temperature difference between the warmth to the south, and the cold to the north, the stronger the winds are going to be,” the meteorologist noted. The jet stream, which is a major controlling factor in the weather systems we see in the region, is another factor in the wind speed.  

“When we get weather systems crossing the province, we tend to get strong winds with those because there’s a temperature gradient across the weather system, and as the system approaches, we bring up those southerly winds – there's your warm air – and then behind when the winds snap around to the northwest, there’s your cold air.” 

So far this month, Weyburn has had just three days where the wind hasn’t reached the 35 kilometres an hour mark, and that trend is expected to continue. Temperatures, though, are expected to warm up in the coming days, with the mercury getting above seasonal right through until the weekend.