Western Canadian farmers can expect to head into the 2010 growing season facing similar weather-related problems as they did in the past year, with dryness persisting in parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan, and the potential for flooding in southern Manitoba, said Drew Lerner of World Weather Inc. at the annual Canadian Wheat Board Grain World conference Feb. 22.
He said conditions will improve through the growing season, with early signals pointing to relatively favour-able harvest conditions in most areas.
Looking at a number of factors; including sunspot activity, long-term cycles and parallels, as well as El Nińo conditions, Lerner said much of Canadian Prairie will experience warmer-than-normal temperatures this spring, although those temperatures could vary from week to week potentially leading to planting delays.
Dryness will be a concern in the western Prairies to start the season, but the region could recover quickly, said Lerner.
While the western Prairies are dry, snowfall levels in the northern U. S. are very high this year, which could lead to flooding concerns in the Red River Valley region of Manitoba if the snow melts quickly, said Lerner.
Heading into the late spring, Lerner said his forecasts were still showing dryness in central and northern Alberta, while southern Manitoba could remain on the wet side.
In the summer months, Lerner forecast warmer-than-normal temperatures in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, with average to above-average precipitation. Manitoba and northern Saskatchewan could be cooler, with precipitation in the bulk of the growing areas of the two provinces also above normal.