The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center released a One-Month Outlook for the month of July on Thursday, which points to a lack of certainty across much of Montana and North Dakota during the upcoming month. To the south of Saskatchewan, the forecasts over much of these two states calls for equal chances of A) Above, B) Normal and C) Below normal precipitation and normal temperature.
As of the week ending June 18, the driest areas of Saskatchewan, as indicated by Saskatchewan Agriculture's estimated area of the province rated as Short-to-Very-Short, increased for the first time in four weeks to 29%, or approaching one-third of the province. This is indicated by the blue line on the attached graphic.
Here's hoping that history does not repeat itself. During the summer of 2017, this area grew from 22% of the province as of June 19 to 70% of the province by July 31, increasing in five of the six weeks, as indicated by the red line on the chart.
Overall, crop development is rated well-ahead of this time last year and the three-year average for this week with 75% of the fall cereals, spring cereals and pulses rated at normal growth stages along with 70% of the canola, with a combination of recent rainfall and heat seen advancing the crop.
Although National Weather Service maps show precipitation expected across the province over the next seven days, they have taken some of the moisture out of the forecast and accumulations are expected to favor the eastern side of the province, where in some cases further rainfall may not be desirable. According to DTN forecasts, much of the province's growing area will see daytime highs of 4 to 6 degrees Celsius above normal during the next five days, with a chance of even warmer weather relative to normal in northern locations.
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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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