Moisture Situation Update - May 8, 2017

  From the May 15, 2017 Issue of Agri-News
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 Since the beginning of May, warm and relatively dry weather has prevailed, particularly throughout much of central Alberta and across most of the Peace Region. Areas north-west of Edmonton, which have been exceptionally wet, received upwards of 10 mm of rain, slowing down the drying process; however, with the warm weather of late, each day about four to six mm of water is evaporated from a wet surface, meaning that net “dry down” is occurring.

“Soil moisture reserves are still well above normal for this time of year across most of the province, from about Red Deer to the central Peace Region,” says Ralph Wright, manager agro-meteorological applications and modelling section, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Edmonton. “A large area from about Wetaskiwin, and north into the central Peace Region is estimated to have reserves this high, on average less than once in 25 years. Continued warm dry weather is needed in these areas to allow the land to dry further, as spring agricultural operations intensify.

“In contrast, dry conditions are still persisting across the northern tip of the Peace Region, with current soil moisture reserves at less than one-in six-year lows. In addition, this area has been subjected to several years of below normal precipitation, with the 5-year accumulations being only about 70 per cent of normal. This translates to a net deficit of about 700 mm of water. Here, deficits this large are estimated to occur, on average, less than once in 25 years.”

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Ralph Wright

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This information published to the web on May 4, 2017.
Last Reviewed/Revised on May 10, 2017.