Ag Weather Forum

Rains Becoming Too Generous for Western Canada

Doug Webster
By  Doug Webster , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
(Map courtesy of Ag Canada)

The weather pattern across western Canada has shifted gears from one extreme to the next from spring into summer. Very dry conditions and very warm temperatures prevailed in many areas through the middle of May, but since that time an overactive jet stream has provide a parade of storms from the Pacific that have turned dry fields to mud puddles in some cases.

During June and so far during July the jet stream has been sending wave after wave of low pressure across the Prairies, each accompanied by generous if not excess rains for some areas. Most areas are wet but a few spots across southwest Alberta remain dry; but even there dryness is decreasing.

The accompanying chart from Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada shows how wet it has been for most of the crop regions of western Canada during the past 30 days. Only central and southwest Alberta have seen less than average rainfall.

Our latest system earlier this week was more like an early fall storm accompanied by heavy rain and wind that produced some damage across Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Heavy rains of 2 to 4 inches (51-101 mm) and more fell across these provinces along with windy weather. Reports of flooding and lodging of crops are increasing for Saskatchewan into Manitoba.

An excellent outlook for crops a couple of weeks ago is starting to become tarnished as the rains continue. Recently we have also see temperatures a little cooler, although not cool enough to be a major problem.

Is there a change to the stormy pattern for western Canada? The answer at the current time is no as most all model forecasts continue to show an energized jet stream moving from west to east across western Canada during the next 1 to 2 weeks.

We will enjoy a break for most areas into early next week along with some warming in temperatures before the next system travels east across the central Prairies during the middle of next week.

A developing ridge across the central U.S. during the middle and end of next week may help shift the storm track northward enough to allow for warmer temperatures and more of a scattered shower or thunderstorm pattern with the next event but further down the road the storm track is expected to shift back southward again.

The latest outlook for August is showing wetter than average conditions for the Prairies along with near normal temperatures.



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