Ag Weather Forum

Temperatures and Rainfall Outlook for Canadian Prairies

Joel Burgio
By  Joel Burgio , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
The period Sept. 22-26 will favor harvest efforts and continues to show warmer than average conditions for Western Canada. (DTN graphic)

Rain and fairly low daytime temperatures continue to hamper the harvest effort across the Canadian Prairies at this time. This is especially problematic in the southern Saskatchewan to Manitoba areas due to heavy rains this week and very cool days, relative to normal.

Temperatures on the low side have not been that much of a concern at night with most areas still free of a season-ending freeze as of Sept.12. However, the cool daytime readings are likely slowing the maturation process in any event.

Heavy rain and low temperatures continue in southeast areas today with some lingering light rain and drizzle possible during Friday as well. The below- or well-below normal daytime temperatures continue another couple of days, but with only near or slightly below normal readings at night.

The west will see warmer, drier, weather Friday and this warmer weather will move to cover the central and east areas later this weekend and early next week. The period Sunday through Tuesday is expected to feature temperatures averaging well-above normal through Saskatchewan and Manitoba with readings in Alberta somewhat lower.

Drier weather continues through Monday with some light-to-moderate rain possible Tuesday. This should allow conditions to improve across the region during this period, at least until the rain develops Tuesday. There again does not appear to be a growing season ending freeze for the region during the next seven days and looking ahead probably not during the eight-to-10-day period either. We will see a cooling trend during that period but probably only bringing readings back closer to normal, which would mean some risk of frosts but only a slight risk for freeze conditions.

As we look further into the forecast, the 11-to-15-day period, we see what looks to be another warming trend for the region. The included graphics shows the temperature anomaly expected during the period Sept. 22-26. The temperatures are expected to average above normal, while the rainfall averages near to below normal. This is due primarily to a strong west-to-east flow across southern Canada with significant troughs located west and north of the area.

The expected weather patterns during the six-to-10, and 11-to-15-day time periods should be more favorable for late-filling and maturing crops and harvesting during these time frames. I would caution, however, I have some concerns about this pattern. On the temperature side, the normal lows will continue to fall during the next 15 days so the further out into the forecast you go, the easier it might be to get down to freezing. On the rainfall side, I am a little concerned about the storm track being over the area. The fast flow should limit the potential for big rains to occur but with so much trough to the west, I wouldn't be surprised if a significant low develops and brings some unexpected rains to the region during this period.

Joel Burgio can be reached at



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