You know what city folk say to each other when it just keeps snowing (or raining, for that matter) to cheer themselves up?
“At least it’s good for the farmers.”
I bet you’ve never heard that before.
Well, it’s good unless your cows are calving, like they are right now. It’s good if there’s a slow melt, and you don’t get flooded. It’s good if you don’t have to get someone to the nearest hospital during a snowstorm. It’s good if you didn’t have too much rain the previous fall. Lots of snow affects everyone.
I flew over much of southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan the other day, and I’m thinking we have enough snow, urban or rural. Most fields were completely covered, and in some cases, they were under significant amounts. Some were drifted in, in copious amounts. It was a white scene, all the way.
That being said, there is a pile of debate over how much water that snow contains.
I’ve seen at least a couple of maps that show different scenarios. A recent Environment Canada map indicated a heck of a lot of the wet stuff across most of the Prairies.
The most recent one, which you will find on our weather page, is a bit more moderate. It shows a considerable amount of moisture in much of southern and central Saskatchewan, with the biggest puddle-to-be right around Moose Jaw and Regina. Those communities have more than 200 percent of normal moisture.
There’s another big blue dot at Saskatoon, and then the colours change to purple and green, representing 150 to 200 percent of normal and 115 to 150 percent respectively.
But much of Alberta and Manitoba are just above normal, or even slightly below.
I’m told that the freeze-thaw cycle can really confuse the water equivalency issue for monitoring devices. However, the good folks at Agriculture Canada’s National Agroclimate Information Service are doing their utmost to get an accurate picture of what’s going on.
Everyone with serious snow cover, particularly in southern Saskatchewan, should still be prepared for possible flooding. There are going to be some scary pockets. How much water is hiding in that snow overall, though, is a tough call, and it might be less than expected.
I still wish it would quit snowing.