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Moisture Situation Update as of June 26, 2018

 
  From the July 9, 2018 Issue of Agri-News
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 Ralph Wright, manager of the agro-meteorological applications and modelling section with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) analyzes the data.

Synopsis:

Since the June 17, 2018 report, widespread thunderstorm activity brought much needed rain to some of the driest parts of southern Alberta, between Calgary and Lethbridge.

“However,” says Wright, “It was a hit and miss type of activity. The previously dry Mossleigh AGCM station, 90 km southeast of Calgary, reported 54 mm of rain. Yet 35 km further east, the Queenstown station reported only 6 mm. This was a similar story for a wide swath of land from Calgary to Oyen, and along the east half of the province, all the way up to Fort McMurray. Simply put, many areas saw appreciable rain and some did not.”

Wright adds that many dry areas across the northern Peace Region also saw significant rain fall amounts ranging from over 75 mm in the Hawk Hills, just north of Manning, down to only about 5 mm in the La Crete area.

“Currently, soil moisture reserves are slowly rebounding with recent rains, but they still remain below normal across about 70 per cent of the province’s agricultural areas,” says Wright.

“Extremely low reserves are found through parts of southern Alberta and along a wide corridor, roughly following Highway 2 from Lethbridge to Red Deer. This does not necessarily mean there is presently an acute moisture shortage given the recent rains, but it does mean that these areas have a diminished capacity to resist hot and dry weather unless significant moisture is received in the coming days.”

Chronic moisture deficits are well represented by the 365 day accumulation map. Says Wright, “It depicts year over year deficits across a wide area, generally lying south of the Yellowhead Highway, extending all the way to the U.S. border. Additionally, long term deficits are found through the central and northern Peace Region.”

Forecast from AF’s Fire Weather Section:

“Looking out over the next two weeks, there does not appear to be any indication that Alberta will see hot dry weather develop,” says Wright. “On the contrary, an upper cold low is expected to situate in Montana Monday, July 2 or Tuesday, July 3, and it is forecast to bring wide spread rain - not spotty thunderstorms - to most of the province in the following days, at least south of Slave Lake. This is very good news for southern Alberta, as the third of July historically marks an abrupt end to the wet season. It has been a looming concern given the dry conditions that have persisted since July 2017.”

“Between July 3 and 9, expect to see most areas across the south receiving upwards of 20 mm or rain with higher amounts towards the foothills. It is a bit early to tell, but depending on condition, there could be even greater accumulations. Stay tuned. The weather does appear to be co-operating, and more moisture is on the way, with the earliest break from the cool wet conditions not expected until very late into next week.”

Find more information at weatherdata.ca, Agricultural Moisture Situation Updates, or contact Ralph Wright, manager of the agro-meteorological applications and modelling section at 780-446-6831.

Contact:
Ralph Wright
780-446-6831

 
 
 
 
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Ralph Wright.
This document is maintained by Christine Chomiak.
This information published to the web on June 25, 2018.