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A Turn to Hotter, Drier for Some Prairie Areas

Western Canada precipitation has been highly variable over the past month or so, with some of the chronically driest Prairie areas suffering further. 

As can be seen from the map below, much of southwestern and southeastern Alberta, along with southwestern Saskatchewan have turned much drier than normal over the past 30 days, with large pockets seeing less than 40% of normal precipitation. The more northern areas, including Edmonton and the Peace River district, have been dry as well. 

In contrast, areas farther east, including much of Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan, have continued to receive normal to above-normal amounts of rain as widespread harvest draws nearer. 

Although conditions were generally good through the first part of the 2022 growing season – and this year’s Prairie crop is still expected to be much better than a year ago - the latest edition of the Canadian Agricultural Weather Prognosticator from World Weather Inc. said the recent dryness is raising concern about late-season crop development in those Prairie locations that continue to be plagued by the effects of multi-year drought. 

“Now that warm temperatures and a more definitive period of drying is underway, crop stress could negatively impact late season development, possibly hurting yields and quality,” the report said. 

Meanwhile, no major relief is on the immediate horizon. According to World Weather, additional drying is expected over the next 10 days in many areas from southwest to northeast across the central Prairies. Temperatures next week are also expected to rise well above normal once again and the combination of heat and dryness will “accelerate drying rates and increase crop stress.” 

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