Crop harvest finished up just in time as winter weather found its' way into the Canadian Prairies during the past several days. Much colder temperatures along with snowfall turned the landscape into white. Snowfall amounts varied from light amounts across eastern and central areas while moderate snows fell across portions of Alberta. A few heavier snowfall reports of up to 25 cm were received across parts of Alberta. The snow is beneficial to help restore some of the moisture to dry soils but for most areas the amount of moisture is not going to have a major impact.
Cold temperatures and snow have temporarily brought fall wheat and rye development to a halt but there are indications that much milder temperatures may be in the future for the region by the middle of next week which could help fall crops develop a little more before winter finally sets in for good. Prospects for further precipitation do not look favorable at this time with the main jet stream flow expected to bulge northward producing what we call a ridge into the southern Canadian Prairies during the next 10 days or so. This type of pattern typically sends the storm track north of the region and produces mild downslope winds from the Rockies.
Some of the latest climate model forecasts for November are painting a picture of milder than normal temperatures across the Prairies while precipitation forecasts are a bit wetter than normal. Typically we would think that milder than normal conditions would lead to drier than normal precipitation amounts at this time of year but it's possible that we can still see a couple of decent upslope events to allow for some worthwhile precipitation. Time will tell as to how this forecast pans out.
Dry soil conditions that are reported across about one half of the Prairies could have an impact on next seasons crop if they persist through the winter. There will be a need for some decent snows or rains during the winter for most of the Prairies to help produce soil moisture levels adequate for spring crop planting and establishment.