Map: March Prairie Precipitation Variable 

Various parts of the Prairies did well with precipitation in March, but the wealth was certainly not shared equally. 

As shown on the map below, pockets of Saskatchewan and Alberta received anywhere from 150% to more than 200% of normal precipitation during the month (shown in light and dark blue). In fact, the city of Calgary saw about three times the normal amount of snow in March.  

Although the late-winter precipitation for those areas that got it provided no serious drought relief, the good news is that a lesser amount of frost in the ground compared to previous years means the melting snow may reach into the soil “much faster and more beneficially,” said the March 30 edition of World Weather Inc.’s Canadian Agricultural Weather Prognosticator. 

On the other hand, much of the Peace River region, along with northern and central Alberta, and southeastern Manitoba received well below normal amounts during March.  

The fact that some of the Peace region and north-central Alberta crop areas experienced one of the driest winters on record was already bad enough. Given the hefty moisture deficits already being carried forward from previous years, concern about spring planting conditions is growing, the Prognosticator said. 

“March weather was still just a little too dry for the stomach of many a farmer. Those areas reporting less than usual precipitation and a huge void in snow cover are most worried and rightly so.” 

Looking ahead, the Prognosticator indicated the potential for increasing rainfall in the eastern Prairies in late April and possibly into May. By late May and into June, rain should increase in north-central and eastern Alberta, and western and northern Saskatchewan. The bottom line is World Weather is expecting generally better spring weather for the Prairies this year, although it warned some areas are still likely to be challenged by dryness. 

March percent normal precip

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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