Prairie Weather (Rural Roots Canada) – Parts of the southern prairies are no longer considered in drought!   An update to the Canadian drought monitor has been released, and it shows the heavy rains this spring have had a huge impact on the prairie drought.    Long term drought still exists through central Alberta, Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba.  Extreme drought persists in Alberta’s Peace, and Grande Prairie regions.  However the situation is much improved, especially in southern Alberta, southwestern Saskatchewan, and southern Manitoba.

prairie weather
Courtesy: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The spring rains have been beneficial across all three Prairie Provinces.   According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in May, Medicine Hat received 291% of its normal rainfall, and it was the 3rd wettest May on record.   Lethbridge had 211% of its normal precipitation.

The heavy rain has partially refilled parched reservoirs across southern Alberta.   Reservoir levels are still below normal, yet much improved.  As of the end of May, the St. Mary Reservoir was at 71% of normal, and the Oldman was at 69%.

Saskatchewan was a bit drier in May, with near average precipitation, sufficient to restore topsoil moisture to a level promoting germination.   Like Alberta, Manitoba had above average precipitation in May, which left many areas with standing water, causing delays in seeding.

Seeding is virtually complete across Alberta, and 94% complete in Saskatchewan.  Manitoba’s a bit further behind, with latest reports showing seeding is 83% complete.

And, there is more rain to come this week, especially for central Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba.

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Rain is expected in southern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba, areas that are still considered abnormally dry. Rain is also expected in northeastern Alberta and northwestern Saskatchewan, with some showers for central Alberta.  This map shows precipitation expected during the day on Monday:

prairie weather
Courtesy: ECCC

Temperatures Monday will reach the mid twenties in most of Alberta and southern Manitoba, with highs of only 10-15 in the rainy areas.


Tuesday will likely be the wettest day of the week for southern Alberta.   Southern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba get a break from the rain, as the Low pressure system generating the precipitation moves into northwestern Ontario.  This map shows areas expected to get more than 0.4 mm of rain during the day Tuesday:

prairie weather
Courtesy: ECCC

Like Monday, high temperatures will be determined by rain.   Where it rains, expect highs from 15-20, and in the dry areas, temperatures should reach the low to mid twenties.  The wind should be light out of the west across the three provinces.  You can see on the above map the effect the wind will have on the rainfall, with a dry area (rainshadow) over the foothills of southern Alberta.


A couple of weak Lows, one in northern Saskatchewan and another in northeastern Minnesota, will produce rain for southern Manitoba, central Saskatchewan and northern Alberta.   Central and southern Alberta should stay dry, along with southwestern Saskatchewan.  Dry areas will see highs in the mid 20s, while in the rainy regions, particularly central Saskatchewan, temperatures are likely to peak only in the teens.


Most of the agricultural regions of all three prairie provinces will again be dry, with seasonable temperatures (low to mid twenties).  Rain will fall in southern Manitoba east of Winnipeg, with an elongated trough of low pressure setting up from the northern tip of Lake Winnipeg, south along the Red River to the North Dakota/South Dakota/Minnesota boundary.   Central Saskatchewan and northern Alberta can also expect rain.   The farm and ranch lands of southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan will stay dry.  South of Dauphin, it will also be a dry day in southwestern Manitoba.


This is likely to be the hottest day of the week, with the potential to reach 30 degrees in parts of southern Alberta, and possibly southwestern Saskatchewan:

prairie weather
Courtesy: ECCC

The above map shows expected temperatures late Friday afternoon, The areas in white could exceed 30 degrees.  In the darker shade of red, expect temperatures between 25 and 30.    This map is valid after the peak heating of the day, so it’s entirely possible a larger area could see temperatures rise to 30 or higher in the mid afternoon.  Needless to say, it will be sunny and dry across the prairies Friday.

Saturday and Sunday:

Rain is back for the weekend!

prairie weather
Courtesy: ECCC

This map shows rain returning to southeastern Saskatchewan, southwestern Manitoba, and northern Alberta on Saturday.   Showers are expected in central Alberta, and it could be cold enough for high elevation snow near Jasper.   The Low pressure system you see on the map in northern Saskatchewan will move to far northern Manitoba on Sunday.   The southern prairies return to dry conditions.   Temperatures will reach the low to mid twenties across the prairies over the weekend.

COMPARE TO LAST WEEK: Prairie Weather this Week: June 3

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