Ag Weather Forum

Temperatures on the Rise for Canadian Prairies

Teresa Wells
By  Teresa Wells , DTN Meteorologist
Above-average temperatures are forecast across much of the Canadian Prairies through this weekend due to an upper-air ridge. (DTN graphic)

The Canadian Prairies are finally experiencing warmer weather after a rather cool start to the growing season. On Monday, high temperatures eclipsed 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) in southeast Alberta. Southern areas in Saskatchewan saw temperatures rise to 26-29 C.

Temperatures are forecast to remain above average throughout much of the Canadian Prairies going into this weekend and even much of next week due to persistent upper-air ridging.

As a ridge continues to expand across much of the western United States, it is also expanding into the Canadian Prairies. This ridge is the main culprit of record-breaking temperatures across the West Coast and Great Basin in the U.S. this week.

Temperatures rose to a sweltering 110-120 F for many areas in southern Nevada, southern California, and southwest Arizona on Monday. While temperatures weren't nearly that high in the Canadian Prairies, the ridge in the western U.S. is helping temperatures rise above 25-30 C in southern Canada this week.

By Wednesday afternoon, DTN is forecasting high temperatures in southeast Alberta and southern Saskatchewan to approach 30-35 C. High temperatures are forecast to remain between 25-30 C through the upcoming weekend and next week for southern and western extents of the Canadian Prairies. Low temperatures will hover between 10-20 C for most areas. The wheat and canola crops are starting to enter their reproductive stages, so these warmer conditions are just in time to give these crops an extra boost.

In addition to the higher temperatures, a few pieces of energy will try to break off from the upper-air closed low near Alaska and advance towards the Canadian Prairies later this week and this weekend. These pieces of energy should provide more opportunities for rainfall and benefit the pockets of abnormally dry conditions south of Regina, Saskatchewan, and the area of severe drought between Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.

Currently, the best chances for rain between Calgary and Edmonton will be on Saturday. Both the European and American GFS models have scattered rain showers developing over the area in the afternoon and evening.

However, it will take more than just this one system to lessen the drought. While this area in Alberta will likely see more chances for rain through early next week, the rainfall looks lighter and more isolated.

In the eastern extent of the Canadian Prairies, rain showers and storms will become more frequent late this week into early next week. A low-pressure system will move in late Thursday into Friday and could provide widespread showers and storms to southeast Saskatchewan and southwest Manitoba. Sunday into Monday will feature additional chances for scattered showers and storms in the southern Canadian Prairies as a secondary low-pressure system passes through.

DTN is currently forecasting up to 20 millimeters (0.75 inches) of rain across parts of the Canadian Prairies from Thursday through Sunday. Next week, much of the rain will be favored to occur early on with conditions trending drier towards the middle to end of the week. Between 5-20 mm of rain is forecast from Monday through Friday next week in the Canadian Prairies, but showers will be much more isolated.

The persistent upper-air ridging has both its benefits and downsides. While it is bringing the much-needed warmer temperatures for developing wheat and canola, it is also putting a damper on the rainfall. For those areas that miss the rainfall late this week into early next week, drought conditions may continue to expand with the warmer temperatures.

To find more international weather conditions and your local forecast from DTN, head over to…

Teresa Wells can be reached at


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