Ag Weather Forum

Warm, Dry Weather Supports Harvest for W. Canada

Doug Webster
By  Doug Webster , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
Map of the lowest temperatures in the Prairies from Aug. 19 to Aug. 25 shows some of the areas that received frost last week. (Graphic courtesy of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

Many crops are being swathed and combined across Western Canada with harvest progress reported to be a little ahead of schedule so far this season. While there have been a few bumps in the road lately due to rain and some wind, the rainfall is mostly welcome, helping to restore some subsoil moisture lost during the early summer drought.

The weather during the past weekend was chilly for some areas as well. Temperatures fell to near or just a little under the freezing mark across western Saskatchewan and many portions of Alberta, resulting in some brief, spotty frost. There appear to be no ill effects at this point.

Rains fell across many areas very late last week into the early weekend resulting in harvest shutting down for most areas, but since then dry weather and higher temperatures have allowed harvest operations to ramp up once again. The outlook is excellent for harvest during the next week and more with warm, dry conditions and little threat of showers.

Late-maturing and filling crops will benefit from the warm weather during the next week and can take advantage of the soil moisture restoration that has taken place in many areas.

A mid-summer weather pattern is taking over across much of the U.S. and across southern Canada as an expansive subtropical ridge builds across the central and eastern U.S. A trough with cooler weather and showers is not too far away, just off the coast of British Columbia, but should be far enough west to keep most of the Prairies in a warm, dry pattern. A few showers may visit parts of Alberta once in a while during the next week, but these visits should be brief.

Our latest forecast models for September are showing warm, mostly dry weather for the first week or two before a trend to cooler, wetter conditions take hold. This forecast should give harvest operations at least a couple of weeks of great harvest weather.

Doug Webster can be reached at doug.webster@dtn.com

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