A combination of generous rainfall and mild to warm temperatures has helped crop emergence and development through most areas of western Canada during the past few weeks. After a very dry start to the season across the west, rains arrived just in time to save the season. Areas further east from southeast Saskatchewan to southern Manitoba continue to see hefty amounts of rain leading to reports of surplus moisture bringing stress to crops in some areas.
The weather gods never hand out good conditions evenly and most of the time while many share good weather, others can have some problems. Such is the case for south-central Saskatchewan and southwest Alberta where dry weather has started to return again. The attached chart from Agri-Food Canada shows the recent 30-day percent of precipitation across the Prairie region.
These two regions have missed out on the core of the recent rainfall events with conditions turning drier during the recent couple of weeks but not yet to critical levels. We should also point out that through areas that have seen good rains recently, imbedded thunderstorms have brought with them strong winds and hail which have caused some localized damage.
Soil moisture is being reported at 80% or more good to excellent for Alberta and Saskatchewan. The recent rains are also restoring subsurface soil moisture which is good news for the summer in case we enter a drier pattern.
The favorable weather pattern we've enjoyed during June is expected to continue with a new wet weather producer about to cross the region Friday and this weekend. Low pressure will develop across central Alberta tonight and move eastward right through the core of the Prairies during the weekend, depositing another moderate to locally heavy dose of rain for most. It appears that the dry areas of central Saskatchewan may catch some heavier totals this time but southwest Alberta may only see light rains.
Temperatures will turn a little cooler during the next few days as the storm and its rain cross the region, but nothing unusual for late June. Temperatures will then undergo a rebound next week as some of the very warm temperatures across the western U.S. bubble northward. A good watering followed by sunshine and warm temperatures is certainly a rosy outlook for crops for the remainder of this month.
The longer-range model consensus continues to show more of the same type of weather pattern as we move into July. Weather systems should travel in from the Pacific Ocean over the top of the ridge across the western U.S. bringing rainfall opportunities every several days while temperatures remain at seasonable if not milder than normal levels much of the time.
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