Showers continue to move through key areas that grow canola across the Canadian Prairies region, leading to improvements in the soil moisture profile and, to a somewhat lesser extent, to the actual condition of the crop.
The temperature pattern remains a concern as warm days are offset by cool days in the region. The canola crop continues to run significantly behind normal development in the region, especially in Saskatchewan. Canola is generally the crop we look at when talk turns to late crops and whether there is potential for early freezes in the region.
The weather pattern for the Canadian Prairies region is not especially concerning as it relates to the canola crop and temperatures during the next 15 days. We see a rapid west-to-east movement of systems across the region during the period, which suggests a changeable temperature pattern.
The accompanying graphic shows the expected departures from normal temperature for the region during the two-to-five-day period and for the six-to-10-day period. We note temperatures at near- to below-normal levels during the five-day period and at just about normal during the six-to-10-day period. The five-day forecast does show much-colder-than-normal weather in far north Canada, which is somewhat concerning, but the six-to-10-day period reverses that trend.
A peak at the 11-to-15-day period shows near- to above-normal temperatures in the west and near- to below-normal east over the Prairies region. This temperature pattern should allow for continued favorable development of the canola crop at a slightly less-than-normal pace for this time of the year. I expect that the crop would remain behind normal development during this period, but it might gain some on the normal.
The longer-range forecasts for the region are somewhat uncertain at this time. There are some forecasts calling for continued near- to above-normal temperatures for the region during August, which would be favorable for the delayed canola crop. However, we have also noted that this summer season featured episodes of very warm and also very cool conditions in the region. These sharp turns in temperatures are not a concern during the mid-summer period, except that very cool conditions will slow development of crops. However, if we see one of these sharp turns to the colder side in late August or early September, this can mean a frost or freeze risk in some parts of the region.
So while we are looking at a general near- to above-normal temperature pattern, we cannot rule out brief periods of colder conditions that would be a concern for late crops in the region, especially the canola crop in Saskatchewan.
Joel Burgio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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