Ag Weather Forum

Limited Rain for Prairies

Joel Burgio
By  Joel Burgio , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
Large portions of the Canadian Prairies crop areas have had less than 40% of normal precipitation during the past 30 days. (AAFC graphic)

Dryness and episodes of extreme heat have been the story through much of the Canadian Prairies during the past 30 days. Dryness is especially evident in southern and some central areas. Much of the Prairies have had not just less than half, but less than 40% of normal precipitation since mid-July.

Temperatures have also spiked within this period. Temperatures were especially high during Aug. 10-11. I saw unofficial readings in excess of 100 Fahrenheit in south and some central areas during this timeframe. As we move further into harvest season, it will be interesting to see if this late hot and dry pattern has had an impact on crops, more than is currently expected.

The weather pattern at this time is somewhat more variable in nature as it concerns temperature. It is currently very warm in the region. It is expected to turn cooler during the coming days, especially in western areas. We may see more warm weather next week as the upper-level ridge is still strong in the U.S., and occasionally it extends northward into the Prairies. The rainfall pattern is similar to what we have seen recently. There will be showers associated with the variable temperature pattern. The heaviest amounts look to be in the northern areas, while areas in the south see less rainfall.

Drier weather at this time becomes less of a factor for filling crops and more of a benefit for the increasing harvest activity. The crops that are further along in the south will likely see little significant harvest delays under this weather pattern. In the north, where crops may still be filling, the harvest would likely be a bit slower due to the heavier showers and somewhat slower development of crops. However, even in these areas I am not expecting a significant problem with the harvest, just slower relative to dryness-affected crop areas of the south.

Joel Burgio can be reached at



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