Ag Weather Forum

Wet, Cool Weather May Affect Canada Harvest Progress

Joel Burgio
By  Joel Burgio , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist

The pattern of very warm, mostly dry weather that the Western Canadian region has been under during this week appears to be coming to an end. Showers have begun to develop, while western regions have already begun to turn cooler. These showers have so far been on the light side and mainly confined to the northwest and north areas. So far the lower temperatures have been limited to the west and to only slightly-below-normal on the maximum readings.

However, we already see signs that heavier rain and thunderstorms will move into the region during this coming weekend. These rains are set to hit the central and the east growing areas harder than the west, but most will see at least some rain from this system. Temperatures continue a cooling trend in the west while the east also turns cooler with time. This will likely delay seasonal fieldwork, including harvesting summer crops.

The cooler weather that moves in behind this system is expected to bring a chance of frost to some locations; however, this is not that unusual for the first week of September and should not be a big concern. The chance for a season-ending hard freeze does not appear to be very high, but because of the date and the strength of the surface storm moving across, this will need to be watched for signs that it may become colder.

The global forecast models have been trying to suggest that a ridge may return to the Gulf of Alaska and to the west coast of Canada sometime in the near future. Should this occur the most likely impact of this would be to shut off the influence of the Pacific Ocean on weather systems as they concern the Canadian Prairies. This would mean a greater risk for lower temperatures to occur, but also a higher promise of drier conditions as well. The models are not in good agreement today and there have also been significant changes from yesterday as well so this solution is by no means a given. It is just one aspect of the weather picture that will need to be watched during the coming days.

A colder, drier weather pattern would likely favor mature crops and harvests, but it may be unfavorable for crops not yet mature. This would be especially a concern for any immature canola.



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