Prairie drought did not improve in July, but it didn’t get much worse either.
According to the latest monthly update of the Canadian drought monitor, 42% of Prairie farmland was being impacted by abnormally dry or drought conditions as of the end of July, up just slightly from 39% in June but still below 44% at the end of May.
Although storms helped to reduce drought conditions in both size and severity across southern Alberta and parts of southern Saskatchewan, the west-central and northern regions received below-normal precipitation in July, the monitor said. Meanwhile, soggy conditions remained for eastern Saskatchewan and much of Manitoba.
Parts of Alberta’s Peace region received less than 10 mm throughout July with no meaningful precipitation in the last two weeks of July, accounting for less than 40% of normal moisture. As a result of the short-term dryness, abnormally dry conditions were expanded across the Peace region, towards northwestern and northeastern agricultural areas.
In contrast, much of southern Alberta continued to receive substantial moisture in July from summer storm activity, continuing to reduce drought conditions. The largest monthly precipitation totals, 100 to 150 mm, were recorded in the west central region north of Red Deer. Southern locations, including Brooks, also received over 100 mm of precipitation. Despite above-normal rainfall in both June and July, some regions of the province continued to show significant long-term precipitation deficits, however, the monitor said.
Western Saskatchewan continued to report the most severe and widespread drought conditions in Canada, even with above-normal precipitation in some parts of the province. Two small pockets of severe drought, as well as a larger pocket of moderate drought, remained across the southwest corner of the province, with the driest areas reported around Rosetown, Biggar, and north of Swift Current.
While western parts of the province dealt with ongoing drought, eastern Saskatchewan continued to report excess moisture challenges.
Much of southern Manitoba remained wet in July as well, receiving well above-normal precipitation during the month. Localized rainfall of more than 150 mm was reported throughout southern Manitoba during the month, including more than 175 mm southeast of Winnipeg.
July Drought Monitor
Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.
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