Fine summer weather has covered the Canadian Prairies from later June through mid August with warm weather and just enough rain to allow crops to catch up in most areas from a late start. The typical spotty nature of summer rains lead to some increased areas of dry top soils during the recent few weeks but rains have made a comeback during recent days across most of the Prairie provinces.
For the most part the recent rains are beneficial with soil moisture levels being bolstered to help filling and maturing crops. Since this is not a perfect world there, is also a downside to the rains, with the wet weather hampering areas where early harvest operations have gotten underway.
More rain is expected during the coming days and with a developing low pressure area expected to lift northward from eastern Montana Saturday through Manitoba Sunday. We may expect some heavy totals for Saskatchewan and Manitoba. There may certainly be too much rain for some areas if all of our weather chart forecasts work out.
Alberta may not see nearly as much rain and with a drier pattern taking over by Monday and Tuesday, harvest activities may resume through areas where they began prior to the recent rain. For Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the expected rain totals could delay or stop any harvest work into the middle of next week to allow fields to dry out a little.
Rain is not the only newcomer to town. Temperatures are trending much lower across the region as air from Western Canada cycles southward into the region from high pressure across the Northwest Territories. An early fall temperature preview can be expected across the region through at least early next week with widespread below-normal readings.
Thanks to the clouds and rainfall, we do not expect any significant frost threat through Monday, but by early Tuesday or early Wednesday of next week we could see some spotty frost for some central and northern areas. At this time, this does not look like a significant problem, but is something to watch. The normal dates for the first freezing weather are fast approaching for northern areas and a late-August frost is not unusual. Southern areas usually escape frost until we get a week or two into September.
Most of our computer model forecasts tell us we might expect to see temperatures average near to below normal as we move into the end of August and early September and leave the door open for some frost damage for any areas that have late-maturing crops.
Doug Webster can be reached at email@example.com
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