Spring planting is still several weeks away, but southern Ontario producers are now looking at much improved and more typical moisture conditions.
Following well above normal amounts of precipitation in January, the latest monthly update of the Canadian drought monitor removed a long stretch of abnormal dryness that extended all the way from Windsor in the west to around the Ottawa area in the east. That dryness – which also included pockets of drought about halfway between Toronto and Ottawa north of the Lake Ontario shoreline – had persisted for the past number of months.
“This significant monthly precipitation helped to alleviate short-term drought concerns from the dry fall, allowing for the moderate and severe drought pockets to be removed . . .,” the monitor said.
As the map below shows, abnormally dry conditions in the southwest part of the province are now limited to a small area northwest of Toronto.
Southern Quebec also experienced an improvement to conditions in January, as abnormally dry pockets were removed or reduced along the St. Lawrence seaway.
Elsewhere in the Central Region, which includes both Ontario and Quebec, monthly precipitation was sporadic with slightly drier conditions around Thunder Bay in northwestern Ontario and wetter conditions in northern Quebec, resulting in minor adjustments to drought.