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Parts of Western Canada Drying Down Again

Following a much wetter August, large portions of Western Canada are once again drying down – an ominous sign for the 2022 growing season.

As the map below shows, most of the more southern production areas have only seen 40% to 60% of normal precipitation – with some pockets getting even less – over the last 30 days. On the other hand, the more northern areas, along with central Saskatchewan, have fared relatively better.

Although the drier weather has allowed for good harvest progress in all three Prairie provinces, the dryness raises further concerns about soil moisture conditions heading into the winter. Indeed, it remains important for any improvement in soil moisture from last month’s wetter weather to not be lost to evaporation prior to freeze up.

According to the latest edition of World Weather’s Canadian Agricultural Weather Prognosticator, some of the areas that missed out on the greatest rainfall in August were in the southwestern Prairies and in particular the east-central and southeastern parts of Alberta as well as some areas in west-central and southwestern Saskatchewan. Meanwhile, the biggest improvement was in Manitoba and in a few eastern Saskatchewan locations “where the outlook for next spring might be better if the moisture received can be conserved in the soil until then.”

Looking farther out, World Weather said mostly dry conditions expected for the remainder of the fall and into the winter as well, although some areas will certainly do much better compared to others in terms of precipitation. “The (weather) patterns are not going to allow much additional relief for some areas, and that leaves the drier parts of the Prairies in a very tenuous position for spring 2022,” the Prognosticator said.

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