Rain has been heavy in some areas across the Prairies during the past month and the resulting flooding has taken its toll on property in some areas, but the effect on early crop development is still being accessed. Late planting of some crops has been a problem and flooded fields are most likely affecting early development as well, but there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Rainfall totals so far during June have averaged from 75 to more than 200 mm (3 to 8 inches) in a widespread nature from Alberta to Manitoba. For Manitoba the majority of the rain has fallen during the past week. Soil moisture ratings were rated in the good to excellent category for much of the region as of about a week ago, but with the rains of the past seven days we have to believe surplus soil moisture conditions have developed for some of these same areas since then.
Temperatures have been lower than normal by 1 to 2 degrees C (2 to 3 F) across the Prairies so far during June with a recent upward trend during the past couple of days. Temperatures have trended to a little above normal recently and we see strong signs that the upward trend will continue into next week.
The weather pattern that has produced the copious rainfall appears on the way out. The reason is that a ridge of high pressure across the western U.S. now is forecast to grow and expand north across western Canada during the coming days to a week and bring drier and much warmer to hotter weather.
The weather pattern is not expected to go completely dry. A few showers or storms may develop from west to east through the region later this weekend and early next week as the hotter weather expands across the region. A widespread heavy rain is not expected with this activity however.
Temperatures will increase some each day during the coming several days, especially across Alberta. Temperatures could become quite high across Alberta and Saskatchewan by the middle or end of next week with some threat to record high readings possible. The warm-up across Manitoba should be a little more controlled and readings may only be a little above normal by the middle of next week.
All in all, a more favorable pattern for crop development is expected next week with the main threat potential being temperatures that become too high too fast as the anomalous ridge develops across Alberta. Further down the road, it appears that the very strong Western Canadian ridge will weaken during the second week of July, hopefully providing farmers with favorable conditions for crop development.
Doug Webster can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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