Prairie weather outlook particularly tricky for summer 2020

(Debra Murphy/RealAgriculture)

After last year’s sudden switch to wet weather, forecasting into 2020 is proving challenging says Scott Kehler, chief scientist for Weatherlogics Inc. And with no clear patterns in the oceans, and even prediction models for seasonal weather showing little indication of what to expect, this summer’s forecast is even more challenging.

Still, Kehler has some thoughts on the general expectations for temperature, moisture, and storm activity.

“In Alberta we’re expecting that temperature-wise it’ll be fairly near normal across most of the province,” says Kehler, adding it may be a bit above normal in southern areas. “And then as far as precipitation goes: kind of the southern half of Alberta — roughly Edmonton and south — probably wetter than normal, and the northern half near normal for precipitation.”

Kehler says on the storm front, it’s expected Alberta will see less activity this summer.

For Saskatchewan, Kehler says a similar story is expected for temperatures, but with north areas likely below normal.

“And precipitation again: the southern half of the province probably on the wetter side, northern half on the normal to below normal end of things.”

For Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, Kehler says there is a bit of an upward trend expected for thunderstorm activity.

And for most of Manitoba, temperatures are expected to stay around normal, while precipitation is expected to be above normal in southern portions, moving to normal and potentially below normal as you move north. But, says Kehler, flooding potential is contingent on a few factors, including how much snowfall the province will see this spring, and the speed of the spring melt.

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