Rainfall levels for the Canadian Prairies have varied considerably during the past 60 days, as is evident in the included graphic. Large areas of the southwest and central growing belt have seen significantly below normal rainfall during this period, while parts of the northwest, north central and southeast have had significantly above normal rains during this time.
Temperatures have varied considerably. Early and mid-July has seen episodes of hot weather, which in areas with limited soil moisture has likely added to stress on the developing crops. The weather has turned cooler and even much cooler since this past weekend.
The forecast going forward from here looks to feature a below-normal rainfall pattern, at least during the next seven to 10 days and especially in the already dry areas of the southwest and central growing belt.
The weather during the next five days should be mostly dry or with only a few light showers. The second part of the 10-day period should see a chance for showers, but these are likely to be light or only locally moderate.
In addition, the best chance for any moderate rainfall would be in the areas that already have favorable moisture. Temperatures will trend higher and then much higher heading into the weekend and early next week, further depleting soil moisture in the dry areas. Filling crops in the area are likely to come under additional stress during this time, limiting the potential for these crops to improve or to maintain current yield forecasts. Later in the period, the temperatures should turn lower again as a cold front drops into the area from the north.
The weather across the region as we move into August looks to feature variable temperatures, with conditions sometimes very warm but at other times much cooler. Rainfall will likely continue to disappoint through the southwest and central areas, while areas to the east and north should do better.
This dry weather pattern will continue to be of some concern for filling crops until either a good rain arrives or the crops advance to the point where they no longer need the rain.
Joel Burgio can be reached at email@example.com
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