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Record-setting dry spell leaves Southwestern Ontario farmers waiting (and waiting) for rain

The London region has just completed the driest local May ever, Environment Canada officials say – with only 4.1 millimetres of rainfall recorded, a drop in the bucket compared to April’s 92.1 mm.


“What a difference a month can make,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Gerald Cheng. “That’s a record.”

Cheng offered up another figure that made the lack of rain even more stark: An average May gets 89.8 mm of precipitation, or roughly 22 times as much as was recorded last month.

May 2023’s dry conditions tromp on 1954’s previous local record low for the month, 13.8 mm of rain. But Cheng says there were six days during which the national weather agency’s official instruments at London International Airport failed to report properly and data potentially was missing.

With little rain in the forecast, drought-like conditions will continue.

Lack of movement in the atmosphere – called a Rex block – has been preventing weather systems from moving into southern Ontario, Cheng said. A Rex block occurs when a low-pressure system is hanging over the United States and produces sunny conditions and warm weather to the north.

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