Seeding progress continues to make rapid strides across the Prairies despite a shaky weather pattern. Lingering cool and sometimes wet weather along with some areas with surplus soil moisture haven't slowed down farmers much.
Seeding progress numbers are quite close to the five-year average in many areas with some spots even a little ahead of normal as of the first few days of June. Some earlier-seeded crops are emerging, taking advantage of the few sunnier, warmer days in between the clouds and rain.
Soil moisture conditions are being reported as adequate to surplus for nearly all the region. Some areas are too wet and have slowed seeding progress but fortunately these areas are a fairly small percentage.
A steady parade of storm systems continues across Western Canada each bringing a decent dose of rain and being followed by chillier-than-normal weather. One such system making its way through the region today and tonight may even drop some snow for northern areas of Alberta, northern Saskatchewan, and northwest Manitoba. Most of the snow should fall to the north of any significant crop zones.
Temperatures are a potential issue this weekend as some rather chilly air for early June descends upon the region. Some frost and light freeze conditions are possible across central and northern crop areas of all three Prairie Provinces with some light frost even possible across the south.
This latest polar air mass will push eastward out of the region by early next week as higher temperatures and a new threat of showers arrives early next week. Before that happens, we will have to watch for some frost damage to some of the more vulnerable early emerged crops Friday and Saturday nights across the region.
Weather prognostications for the middle of June and beyond do not show any great change in the overall pattern for Western Canada. A continuing stream of low pressure areas every few days will supply showers and rain while temperatures are favored to be on the low side of normal on average. We will see that brief day or two of warmth occur ahead of the next low pressure area and showers so all is not lost.
Soil temperatures have been struggling to rise so far this spring and without a lengthy stretch of sunny, warm weather readings may lag into the summer and could lead to somewhat slower crop development.
Long range forecasts for July are not any bargain. Above-normal rains are expected to continue with lower-than-normal temperatures favored for eastern areas and near-to-above normal readings for the west.
Doug Webster can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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