(Rural Roots Canada) – Seeding is underway in most parts of the province, but how much moisture is in the ground?
Meteorologist David Spence, who gathers his information from Alberta Environment, says since harvest, the south has been very dry, while the north was wet, which has become a regular trend.
“From Leduc south, it has been generally dry,” Spence said.
He points to the fact the region has seen 60 to 85 percent of average precipitation since November, he adds the snowfall we saw in April from the snowstorms which swept through, which isn’t included in these stats, may have had a small impact.
County Voice – The Alberta Ag Podcast: Full discussion with Meteorologist David Spence:
Spence says there is a region of the province that has been drier than most.
“It’s southeast of Calgary from about Blackie to Vulcan, including Milo, that area almost all the way to Brooks. In that region, you’ve had about 40 to 60 percent of average precipitation.”
Moving further south to the Lethbridge region, it’s closer to the long-term average, as is south of Medicine Hat and Cypress Hills.
He says the real wet area of the province has generally been north of Edmonton, while between Red Deer and Edmonton has been average.
The ranchlands, farmlands, and grasslands of southern Alberta have continued to be dry.
“There is no sign of any major weather system to come in to erase a prolonged drought in that area.”
Spence says it doesn’t look like the low soil moisture in the south will change anytime soon.
“It kinda looks like that’s going to stay that way unless we get some kind of major kind of precipitation event, and by that, I mean an event that lasts for several days at a time producing moderate falling rainfall.”
He cautions that we don’t want to see heavy rainfall as that doesn’t help because it just runs off fast.
“The ground gets soaked quickly with heavy rainfall, and then the runoff causes flooding, but if you get slower rainfall, rainfall that is allowed to soak into the ground, then maybe there’s some hope.”
Spence says if you go on to Alberta Environment’s webpage, you can see in-depth soil and precipitation level maps.