Prairies to see wet two weeks before cold sets in


CNS Canada — An ongoing battle between warm and cool air across the Prairies is expected to lead to a wetter bias across Western Canada in September, before cold air begins to establish itself toward the middle of the month.

“As we get towards the end of the month the cool air will start winning out and we’ll have less rain,” said Drew Lerner, weather specialist with World Weather Inc. at Overland Park, Kansas.

As for frost, Lerner said some signs of it could be felt later this week.

“There may actually be a little frost and a couple of light freezes on Thursday morning (Sept. 4) in portions of northern and western Saskatchewan and southeastern Alberta,” he said, adding Manitoba may also see a few patches in isolated areas Friday morning (Sept. 5).

However, he stressed the earliest a widespread general freeze could happen is by the middle of next week (Sept. 10-11), and he doubted that will include Manitoba.

“If you look at the entire Prairies, Alberta, western parts of Saskatchewan, they will be more vulnerable next mid-week than anybody else.”

The upper air flow pattern will keep most of the coolness locked in the western Prairies, he said. That will eventually move east.

The way the jet stream is oriented, storm systems will form in the northern Plains and/or the south-central parts of the Prairies and move northeastward.

“That puts Manitoba into a position where there’s lots of cloudiness and precipitation still occurring during this time, so it makes it more difficult for Manitoba to get as cold as areas to the west,” Lerner said.

It’s simply a matter of time, he added, until enough cold air builds up that it overruns all of the Prairies.

In the U.S., Lerner said, the northwestern corn belt will feature warmer tendencies with a rain pattern similar to the one over the past few weeks.

“We will see a couple of weather disturbances going through the corn belt in the next seven to 10 days which will maintain the wetness,” he said.

One significant issue in the U.S. is the slow maturation of crops in the north, he added. Moist conditions exist throughout many areas but Lerner would like to see those areas become drier to prevent frost, particularly among soybeans.

One bright spot has been the recent bias of rains in Kansas. The winter wheat crop has begun to go in the ground and will badly need the moisture after a hot and dry summer.

“It’s been raining fairly routinely, but there’s not an abundance of moisture in the soil down deep, so a lot of the moisture is evaporating quickly,” he said.

If the rain continues, he added, the crops there should germinate.

— Dave Sims writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.



Stories from our other publications