The stubborn weather pattern that brought cold weather and snow to the Prairies during the winter and cool and wet conditions during the spring refuses to ease. A new storm system moving into Western Canada during the upcoming weekend may bring more heavy rain which raises the flood threat for some and more low temperatures for all.
An active jet stream continues to ride inland through the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. and then eastward along the U.S./Canadian border region toward the northern Great Lakes. Rather than shifting northward and allowing for warmer, drier weather at times the jet stream is being held in place by a blocking high pressure ridge across northwest and north-central Canada.
This upper air pattern is more or less a summer version of the weather pattern we experienced during the past winter. Since we know that wet and cool has been a theme of recent weeks the question is then how long is this weather pattern expected to last?
Most all of the computer generated models imply that we may see more damp and at times chilly weather as we move through July. An upper level low is forecast to remain through the Gulf of Alaska which will send along waves of low pressure every so often into southwest and southern Canada along a jet stream held further south by a blocking ridge across northwest Canada.
There will be a ridge of high pressure supplying hot weather across the southern half of the western U.S. during the next couple of weeks, but it appears that its ability to expand northward at times to bring the Prairies some warmer, drier conditions will be limited.
The latest crop reports across the region indicate that seeding is essentially complete for all summer crops, which is a feat in itself considering the episodes of nasty weather that occurred during the seeding season. Soil moisture is mostly adequate to surplus, no surprise since rains have been frequent and sometimes heavy.
As crops have germinated and begun to emerge, there are reports of slow development as a result of the cool, wet conditions. This will become more of a problem during the next few weeks if we continue to see more rainy cool weather, as many of our more reliable forecast models show.
The hope is that there are a few periods of warmer, drier weather when crop development can advance at a healthy pace. As it appears now, lack of moisture will not be a problem for most areas, but rather the threat of some excess wetness for some fields, especially low lying fields.
Doug Webster can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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