The siege of cool, wet weather appears to be over, at least for the time being, and the warmer, drier pattern that has taken hold since early July is beginning to benefit crops. Areas affected by excess moisture have begun to show improvement with the stretch of sunny, dry, warmer days beginning to speed up crop growth. There continue to be areas of excess moisture and crop death but the areal coverage is beginning to diminish.
The weather pattern that dumped the region with heavy rains and cool weather during the past couple of months is taking a vacation, hopefully a long one. However, there continues to be aspects of the winter weather pattern left over into the summer months, particularly the pesky high latitude blocking.
The upper air pattern that has evolved during the recent few days is expected to amplify further into one all too familiar from last winter. A ridge is expected to grow across far western Canada and through the Gulf of Alaska, possibly helped along by a continuing pool of warmer than normal sea surface temperatures across the Gulf of Alaska. At the same time an unseasonably strong trough and polar vortex is expected to slide southeastward from the Northwest Territories to the northern Great Lakes by early to mid next week.
If this sounds like some of the cycles we went through last winter then you would be correct. A pool of chilly weather will invade the central and eastern Prairies later this weekend lasting into Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. While it is not expected to be cold enough for frost it might become cool enough to slow crop growth a bit early next week. Alberta should see less of the chill and the best crop weather.
The goods news is that dry weather is expected for the region for a good number of days to come allowing further drying of excess soil moisture. Despite the cool push of weather coming during the next several days the weather outlook for crops is favorable for much of the region, especially for Alberta through next week and maybe beyond.
Longer range model forecasts that were largely wet and cool for later July and August from a week ago have taken a step back into a little more favorable category as well. The August outlook now is calling for only Manitoba to be a little cooler than normal while near to above normal temperatures are expected for the remainder of the region. Even the wet outlook as evaporated somewhat with mostly near normal rainfall now expected.
Doug Webster can be reached at email@example.com
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