Ag Weather Forum

Canadian Prairies Harvest Weather

Joel Burgio
By  Joel Burgio , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
The U.S. model is forecasting for the next seven days very little rainfall in southern Alberta, as well as southwest and central Saskatchewan. The model does show some rain for northern and eastern areas of the region within this timeframe. (National Weather Service graphic)

The dry weather pattern continues for the southwest and central areas of the Canadian Prairies. However, this is now a favorable pattern for crops that continue to mature and are being harvested.

The short-range forecast shows little rainfall of significance in the southwest and central areas. The graphic included is the forecast of rainfall by the U.S. model covering the next seven days.

As you can see, this model is forecasting very little rainfall in southern Alberta, as well as southwest and central Saskatchewan. The model does show some rain for northern and eastern areas of the region within this timeframe.

I would tend to agree with the forecast of light to locally moderate rain that is shown over northern and central Alberta and northern Saskatchewan. However, the rain being forecast in Manitoba is less certain. There are other forecasts covering this time period that downplay the amount of rain in Manitoba during the period.

Temperatures during this period look to be somewhat variable in nature, but I see no major cold outbreaks and nothing that looks very hot either.

The longer-range forecast covering the balance of the September time period suggests that the pattern of generally near or below normal rainfall should continue. A mean trough near Canada's West Coast continues during the month, so there may be chances for showers at times, but nothing that looks to persist.

The temperature pattern continue to vary somewhat during the month. This opens the door to periods of cold weather. Since the normal temperatures continue to drop, it is likely that these periods of colder weather would include a chance for frost and freeze conditions. However, this is not that unusual for the region during September and is of little concern.

The weather pattern currently in place is likely to favor the maturing summer crops and the ongoing harvests. This pattern is expected to last well into September as well, likely leading to a rapid harvest pace. However, the pattern does little to replenish soil moisture in the region as we head into the fall. This might increase concern for winter crops in the region. It is probably a little early to be worried about moisture availability for next year's spring-planted crops, but if we do go into the fall and winter seasons still dry, this will become of increasing interest.

Joel Burgio can be reached at joel.burgio@dtn.com

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