Map: Drought Improvement for Ontario in September; Prairies Still Dry

With time running out before winter, September failed to bring any meaningful improvement in drought conditions across Western Canada, although things did improve in parts of Ontario.

According to the latest monthly update of the Canadian drought monitor, the majority of the Western Canada remained in severe to extreme drought as of the end of last month amid low precipitation, warm temperatures and high evaporation rates. On the other hand, dry and drought conditions improved somewhat across northwestern Ontario thanks to significant precipitation, while southern Ontario saw the removal of all remaining drought or abnormally dry regions.

In southern Alberta, extreme drought conditions expanded during September, now encompassing nearly the entire southeast corner of the province, where soil moisture continues to be a concern and precipitation is needed to build reserves over the winter season. Additionally, a small pocket of extreme drought developed in the Peace River region.

Central Alberta saw improvement in moderate drought conditions, where near normal precipitation was received from the Rocky Mountains northward to High Prairie. However, the largest monthly deficits remain in the eastern and southern regions of the province.

Following a growing season that saw less than half of normal precipitation, the month of September was even drier in Saskatchewan, amounting to only about 40% of normal. In central areas of the province, severe drought conditions expanded west over the Alberta/Saskatchewan border, while exceptional drought remained relatively unchanged in west central areas surrounding Saskatoon. Meanwhile, the expansion of severe drought in the central areas continued, expanding further west into Alberta. In the southeast corner of the province, severe drought expanded west from the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border.

Some slight improvement was noted in Manitoba, with the reduction of the exceptional drought in southern regions as a result of precipitation at the end of August and early September and improved soil moisture and vegetative growth. However, the majority of the southern and central portions of the province remain in extreme or exceptional drought.

As for Ontario, extreme and exceptional drought conditions improved in the Lake of the Woods region, along the southern U.S./Ontario border, as the region received up to 150mm of rain during September. Regardless, extreme drought still encompasses the Kenora, Rainy Lake, and Lac des Mille Lacs regions.

Moving farther south, the abnormally dry conditions, which previously surrounded the Kitchener Waterloo region and the Toronto Durham regions, were diminished in September due to the areas receiving exceptionally high precipitation.

September drought monitor

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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