Ag Weather Forum
Doug Webster DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist

Thursday 12/20/12

Bitter Cold Grips The Prairies

Since the middle of November we have seen a high occurrence of arctic air across northwestern Canada southeastward into the Prairie region. Temperatures have averaged below to well below normal most of the time with actual temperatures falling to as low as -10 to -25 F (-23 to -32C) on some nights across the region.

The upper air pattern across Alaska and western Canada has been promoting a large surface high pressure area through western Canada allowing for the development of arctic air. Lacking are the stronger storms that sometime push inland from the Pacific bringing periods of much milder readings so far this winter. During the past few days temperatures moderated some from last week's bitter temperatures but not to the levels we had envisioned. A pattern that looked like it would produce near normal temperatures for a few days only was able to muster readings in the below normal category.

An extensive snow cover of 5 to 12 inches (13 to 30 cm) across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba is helping to maintain the cold pattern and more importantly is giving protection to most of the winter grain crops from the cold. We are also seeing intermittent periods of light snow which adds a little more protective snow cover to the region.

The outlook for the remainder of December seems to be pointing us toward a continued colder than normal temperature pattern for western Canada with arctic air holding a firm grip on the region. As arctic high pressure strengthens across northwest Canada next week and expands southeastward we should see a return of readings like we saw a little more than a week ago. Nighttime temperatures may fall to 20 to 30 degrees below zero F (-29 to -34C) on some nights next week with daytime readings probably staying below zero F (-18C) as well. This type of weather pattern may last into the beginning of the new year. A few periods of light snow or flurries can be expected from time to time but most likely no important storms will occur with this pattern.

Posted at 10:41AM CST 12/20/12 by Doug Webster
Post a Blog Comment:
Your Comment:
DTN reserves the right to delete comments posted to any of our blogs and forums, for reasons including profanity, libel, irrelevant personal attacks and advertisements.
Blog Home Pages
December  2014
S M T W T F S
   1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31         
Subscribe to Ag Weather Forum RSS
Recent Blog Posts
  • A Look at 2015 Growing Season
  • Mild Pattern To Last Another Week For Canada
  • North America Was Cool Spot In November
  • Southwest Plains Still Need Precip
  • El Nino Contributes to Warmth in Canada
  • Canadian Prairies Sees Slow Warming Pattern
  • North And South America Comments
  • Up and Down Temps for Prairies
  • Foreign Crop Areas Weather Update
  • Record World Warmth in October
  • Low Confidence in Weather Outlook for Western Canada
  • Harsh Cold Brings Late Harvest Issues
  • Brazil Rainfall Update
  • Arctic Cold In Canada
  • Duration Of Cold May Be Impressive
  • Jekyll-Hyde October In Missouri
  • Weather Pattern Hitting Canada Similar to Last Year
  • Weather Tidbits And Commentary
  • Possible Wet Early Nov In S. Plains
  • El Nino Showing Up In Prairies Weather