Prairie Weather (Rural Roots Canada) – Some very hopeful and encouraging words are in the latest Alberta Agricultural Moisture Situation Update….

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Since that report was written, there has been even more rainfall, particularly over the weekend of June 15 and 16.  Cold air and moisture wrapping around a surface Low in Saskatchewan brought cold, windy, and wet conditions to Alberta Saturday and Sunday, and the Low itself

generated moisture across Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Alberta Rainfall June 14 to June 16 (early am)

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Saskatchewan Rainfall June 14 to June 16 (early am)

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Manitoba Rainfall June 14 to June 16 (early am)

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RECENT: Prairie Weather this Week – June 10

In this week’s forecast, there is more rain to come, but there is also scorching heat.   And, in some places, even a little bit of snow.

There is little change in the weather pattern that will continue to bring us cool and wet weather for the first half of this week.   The map below shows how much rain is expected until the end of the day Sunday June 23:

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Courtesy: ECCC


Cloud cover from Sunday extends into Monday morning across most of Alberta, while the sun shines in Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba.  By the end of the day, however, most of the agricultural regions in all three provinces will be under cloud cover.  Periods of rain will begin Monday in southern Saskatchewan, intensifying into Tuesday.   Manitoba should be dry, except in the Roblin area, which could see some of the Saskatchewan rain nose across the boundary.  Back in Alberta, expect showers and thundershowers in the afternoon and evening. In the foothills and mountains, it will be cold enough for high elevation snow.  Afternoon highs across all three prairie provinces will likely remain below 20.


A short wave trough moving NE from Montana hits the southeastern prairies on Tuesday, with the potential for 20-50 mm of rain in southern Saskatchewan.  Significant rain is also possible in southern Manitoba from this system.  There will also be rain over the foothills and mountains of central and southern Alberta. Early Tuesday morning, it will be cold enough for higher elevation snow in the Rockies and foothills, particularly near Waterton, Pincher Creek, and perhaps as far east as Brocket.  Snow in these areas may linger until noon.  Overall, it will be another chilly day with high temperatures reaching only 10-15 degrees across most areas.  It could be a bit warmer around Rosetown and Kindersley, and in Manitoba, north of the Trans Canada Highway.


In the wake of Tuesday’s clouds and rain, the sky will try to clear across southern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba.  We can’t rule out a few rain showers in southern Saskatchewan, especially early in the day. Most of northern Alberta will clear out, and there will be a mix of sun and cloud in the south.  The return of widespread sunshine should allow temperatures to climb back up to about 20 degrees across most of the prairies, though it will be cooler in Saskatchewan if the expected morning rainfall materializes.


The prairies will be mainly sunny, but in the afternoon, the atmosphere becomes unstable in southern Alberta, and there is even the risk of dry lightning in the late afternoon south of highway 3.  The instability will be fuelled by afternoon heat, as temperatures rise to between 20 and 25 degrees across the prairies.   There is even a slight chance of highs nearing 30 degrees around Grande Prairie, in northwstern Alberta.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Like Thursday, there will be abundant sunshine in the early hours of the day Friday with the potential for thunderstorms and dry lightning in the afternoons in southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan. Friday afternoon, we expect rain in eastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba, as a weak low forms near Portage La Prairie. Despite the rain, it will be warm, with highs above 20.   In Alberta, where it remains dry, Friday’s highs in most areas will exceed 25.

Saturday’s a hot day, particularly in parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan, where highs exceeding 30 degrees are possible.  Highs will reach the mid 20s in Saskatchewan and the low 20s in Manitoba.   On Sunday afternoon, it will be even hotter:

prairie weather
Courtesy: ECCC

The map above shows highs of 30-35 (white) across Alberta and most of Saskatchewan, and highs EXCEEDING 35 (gray) near Medicine Hat.   In most of Manitoba, Sunday’s highs will reach 25 degrees.

All this heat could destabilize the atmosphere.  Since there is no significant source of moisture, such as a storm, or a low pressure system, there is the potential for dry lightning across all of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and in western portions of Manitoba.   This, as moisture from vegetation lifts into the atmosphere.  Lightning storms without rain are prolific causes of wildfires, but in this case, there should be plenty of moisture from previous rainfall to keep the threat relatively low.

This forecast is a long way out, and is susceptible to change, but it’s not a bad idea to plan now for scorching heat in late June, and further into the summer.