Our old nemesis high latitude blocking continues to slow down the start of fieldwork and seeding across the Canadian Prairies and the outlook continues to look less than appetizing during the next few weeks. An upper level ridge of varying strength across Alaska and northwest Canada seems to want to linger as we move into late spring creating more chilly weather.
Snow cover has receded to north of the main crop areas with only some patchy snow left in the woods and on northern sides of hills. Soil temperatures across Manitoba are still low for the season ranging from 0 to 5 Celsius in most areas with still some ground frost being detected in some areas.
The chilly weather outlook coming for the next week or so and the prospects of more precipitation during the next few days, combined with the already slow departure of snow and frozen ground, will continue to delay the start of spring fieldwork and seeding operations as we move toward mid-May.
Despite the cool outlook, we do see some improvement in the cloud and precipitation department for next week. With the now strong May sun expected for next week, there should be some improvement to soil temperatures across the region, as well as help in drying out some areas that remain too wet from the wetter-than-average April that was had across most of the region.
Climate models continue to display more of the same across the Canadian Prairies as we move to June with lower-than-normal temperatures and more-than-normal precipitation forecast. The less-than-promising weather forecast may lead to further delays of seeding and problems with crop development as we move into early summer.
During 2013, a major rebound of very good growing weather occurred after a late start to the seeding season. At the moment, the big rebound to warmer weather does not look like it will follow the same path as last year. While the current outlook for the new crop season is less than favorable, there is still time for recovery during the coming weeks.
Doug Webster can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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