Average Prairie heat, more rain in summer forecast

MarketsFarm — Canada’s Prairies should see higher-than-normal precipitation and generally average temperatures during the 2020 growing season, according to a forecast from Scott Kehler of Weatherlogics.

Speaking Thursday at CropConnect in Winnipeg, Kehler said “there’s not really a strong pattern one way or the other” when it comes to the temperature outlook.

The Weatherlogics forecast — using a combination of long-range models, a comparison of analog years, ocean temperatures, sunspot activity and other indicators — points to normal temperatures across most of the Prairies, with slightly warmer-than-normal weather in southern Saskatchewan and southeastern Alberta.

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Precipitation is forecast to be above normal across all three Prairie provinces.

The moisture should be more evenly distributed during the growing season than 2019, when a dry summer was followed by a very wet fall, Kehler added.

Kehler was most confident in the thunderstorm outlook, with more storms than normal predicted for Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan.

Activity similar to 2019’s was forecast for the remainder of Saskatchewan and southern Alberta, with central and northern Alberta expected to see a reduction in thunderstorms.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin reports for MarketsFarm from Winnipeg.

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