Cooler temperatures, precipitation in store for Prairies

CNS Canada — Alberta crops could be put at risk during the last week of September due to cooler weather, but for the most part, a U.S. meteorologist expects average to slightly above-average temperatures for the Prairies during harvest.

Farmers will need to monitor temperatures during the last 10 days of September, as there will be a cooler bias across the Prairies, most notably in Alberta, said Drew Lerner of World Weather Inc.

“Temperatures are probably not going to drop below freezing, but they’ll come close.”

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Alberta is the only province to which cooler weather could potentially pose a threat, he said.

The precipitation bias in Alberta will probably be low in the northwestern part of the province in late August and throughout September.

“That area will probably still see net drying. The south part of Alberta where it’s so critically dry is not going to change in the next few weeks, but it will change in September and they’ll get some moisture.”

Saskatchewan and Manitoba will see near- to above-average precipitation scattering across the region and near- to above-normal temperatures throughout August and September.

“The rain is going to be a little bit of a headache. In September it shouldn’t just be rainy, rainy, rainy, but it will rain periodically. It’ll be a little bit of an aggravation, but not so great that we have a disaster on our hands or anything like that,” Lerner said.

The rain will interrupt harvest slightly, and there will be some concern over quality, but for the most part it’ll just cause farmers to slow down, he said.

Jade Markus writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Follows CNS Canada at @CNSCanada on Twitter.

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