Prairie Weather (Rural Roots Canada) –  Happy Canada Day!  It’s the first of July, and many of us are still waiting for our first 30 degree day.  Winnipeg is the only major prairie city to reach 30 so far this year, though with a temperature of 29.9, Brandon has come close.   The two biggest cities in each of Alberta and Saskatchewan have yet to reach the mark, and it’s doubtful they will this week.

By this time last year, Winnipeg had reached 30 degrees – 12 times!  Saskatoon and Brandon – nine times each, Edmonton – six times, Regina – five times,  and Calgary just once.

Of course, no one wants to get into the hot, dry, drought conditions of the past four years, but, according to Alberta’s latest Agricultural Moisture Situation Update, warmer weather would be most welcome:

 “Cool temperatures at this time of year are significant, as all crops are now actively growing and in need of both moisture and warm weather to mature quickly. Over the last 30 days, most of the agricultural areas have been well below one in 6-year lows with many areas trending in the 12- to 25-year low category. More heat will be needed moving forward.” 

For most of this week, the cool weather trend will continue.  There is some expectation of warmer weather on the weekend, but in most areas, the 30 degree threshold will remain elusive.  More rain is expected as well throughout the week.   Monday could be particularly wet across southern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba.  Both provinces are in for thunderstorms.  In Saskatchewan, there is a low risk of severe storms with strong wind and large hail Monday.  The next day, the risk for severe storms moves east into southern Manitoba, and may intensify.

All this will put more moisture into the ground, in addition to the substantial rain totals that accumulated between June 23 and June 30.


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RECENT: Severe Weather Leads to Over 900 Crop Damage Claims

The map below shows rainfall accumulation up to the early evening of Sunday, July 8.  Most of Alberta and Saskatchewan won’t see much more than 20-30 mm of rain over the next few days, but there will be considerably more in Manitoba, and most of it will fall by the end of the day Tuesday:

prairie weather
Courtesy: ECCC


A surface low that developed in southern Alberta Sunday night moves slowly across the province, spreading morning rain north toward Calgary, Edmonton, and the higher terrain to the west.   South of Calgary,  it will remain dry until the afternoon, when the low moves into Saskatchewan, and drags the moisture south.   Southern Saskatchewan will see rain all day Monday.   As the map below shows, it will be cool in Alberta, with areas in yellow only reaching 10-15 degrees in the afternoon.  Low to mid 20s elsewhere across the parries, except for the far north, where it’s likely to be hot, near 30 degrees:

prairie weather
Courtesy: ECCC


The Low will intensify as it moves into Manitoba on Tuesday, providing heavier rain and a chance for severe weather.   Rain and thunderstorms are expected in southern Manitoba all day, as the low moves into northwestern Ontario by evening.   Behind all that, the atmosphere remains unsettled, and showers continue through much of Saskatchewan, southern Alberta west of highway 2, and across northern Alberta.


Wednesday brings more of the same for Alberta with showers and possible thundershowers through the foothills, along with central and southern portions of the province.  Saskatchewan and Manitoba will be dry early in the day, but daytime heating could lead to showers and thundershowers popping up in the late afternoon.


After another damp morning, the light rain tapers off in Alberta Thursday as the wind shifts to the west.  Hit-and-miss showers and thundershowers are likely for the afternoon in southeastern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba.   There are signals that after a cool start to the week, we may finally see temperatures climb to the mid twenties across the prairies.


The westerly wind is a drying wind, and it stays in place Friday, so all three prairie provinces will start off with dry weather over the agricultural south.  This will help temperatures climb to the high 20s. However, a sneaky little Low pressure system will develop in northern Saskatchewan, and by late afternoon will spread rain across northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.   The wind will shift from the west to northwest, and in the early evening, some of that rainfall will slump southward into central Alberta and Saskatchewan.   With the atmosphere destabilizing, thunderstorms are possible, particularly in western and central Saskatchewan.  All this…just when we thought we were drying out.

Saturday and Sunday:

This is our best opportunity yet for sunnier, drier, and warmer weather, as the Saskatchewan low moves to Manitoba, Alberta will be dry on Saturday, with the rain having moved on to Manitoba.  Temperatures will rise to the high 20s and low 30s in southern Alberta, particularly south of the Trans-Canada Highway.   It will be cooler in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  There is yet again another chance of heavy rainfall near Portage La Prairie by midday Saturday, before it moves off to the east.  On Sunday, a weak disturbance may provide some pre-dawn rainfall to southern Alberta…but as the rain moves east, and Alberta dries out, more precipitation can be expected in southern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba.

COMPARE TO LAST WEEK: Prairie Weather This Week – June 24


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