Ag Weather Forum

Rain Again Hampers Alberta Fieldwork

Joel Burgio
By  Joel Burgio , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
A sharp difference in precipitation the past 60 days has western areas of the Canadian Prairies wet, while eastern sectors are close to being too dry. (AAFC graphic by Nick Scalise)

The western Canadian Prairies cannot escape persistent rainfall. Another round of rain and strong winds were reported Wednesday and Wednesday night through central areas of Alberta and portions of west and north Saskatchewan. Rainfall averaged 0.75-2.00 inches (20-50 mm) and locally heavier within these areas. Light to locally moderate rain occurred elsewhere in west and north-central areas, while the southeast had scattered light showers. Temperatures averaged below normal in the west during Wednesday due mostly to well below normal daytime highs, with mostly above normal elsewhere in the region.

Forecast: Light to moderate rain with locally heavier is likely through central and eastern areas of the Prairies region Thursday and Friday, heaviest likely in northern Saskatchewan and possibly in southwestern Saskatchewan. Light rain or showers linger in the east, dry west, Friday. Mostly dry or with only a passing light shower in eastern areas Saturday. Temperatures average below normal west and above normal east Thursday. The east turns somewhat cooler while the west turns somewhat warmer Friday and Saturday.

Mostly dry or with only a few light showers in Manitoba Sunday and Monday. Mostly dry or with only a little light rain or drizzle in northern Alberta Tuesday. Temperatures average near to above normal west and near to below normal east during this period.

6-10 Day Outlook: Temperatures are expected to average above normal in the west, near to above normal east, during the period Tuesday May 30 through Saturday June 3. Rainfall should average near to above normal through central and northern Alberta and northern Saskatchewan, near to below normal elsewhere in the region.

Implications: Rain Wednesday and Thursday through Alberta and west and north Saskatchewan is expected to again delay and disrupt seasonal fieldwork. This includes harvesting of last season's crops and planting this year's crops. The area may trend somewhat drier during the weekend and early next week, but longer range charts are again showing a set-up that may return rain to the central and north Alberta region and the northern Saskatchewan area late next week and next weekend. This is an area that has featured above to well above normal precipitation during the past 60 days and longer. It is unlikely that this break in the weather pattern would be enough to ease concerns in the region.

The balance of the Canadian Prairies region is actually in need of some added rainfall. Planting is much further along as you move south and east across the Canadian Prairies. This is due to generally below normal rainfall levels during the past 60 days. Showers this week may slow planting progress somewhat, but the earlier planted crops will benefit from the moisture and from a warming trend that begins during the next few days.

Joel Burgio can be reached at



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