Dry weather appears headed to Canadian Prairies: climatologist

CNS — It appears a summer heat wave could be headed for the Canadian Prairies.

Daniel Bezte, a climatologist based near Winnipeg, sees indications of an onset of warm, dry air next week (July 28-August 1).

“I don’t think anybody would frown on a couple weeks of (that).”

For over a month now, Bezte says the Prairies have been repeating the same basic pattern. A big tropical pressure system over eastern North America spawns the development of a ridge on the western part. Each time the ridge drifts over to the Prairies, an upper low comes along and flattens out the warm air.

“We’re seeing that right now,” said Bezte, noting there’s another upper low due to come through this weekend, bringing with it unsettled weather.

Next week though, his models indicate that a strong ridge of high pressure will develop in the west and then build up over central North America.

“If that actually plays out it means we’ll see fairly dry weather across the Prairies.” He says, with the exception of the odd thunderstorm.

With highs expected to push 30 (degrees Celsius) on most days next week, according to Bezte, he says it kind of looks like a heat wave might be developing. For flood-stricken producers in southeast Saskatchewan and southwest Manitoba, Bezte says the weather will likely come as a relief. He adds it’s a trend the Prairies hasn’t felt yet this year.

“Not really, we’ve had a couple of days where it gets really warm but then another low seems to crash through and bring us back to cooler than average weather.”

Bezte also has his eye on the Pacific Ocean right now. He says it has been “on the edge” of slipping into an El Nino situation. If that occurs he says it will likely make next winter a milder affair than the recent one.

Dave Sims writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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