Forecast predicts dry fall for Prairies but early frost

The summer trends of drier, warmer weather in the southwestern part of the Prairies and near normal weather in the north and east is set to continue into the fall, says Brett Anderson, AccuWeather’s senior meteorologist.

“I believe we are looking at a warm fall relative to normal across much of Alberta and probably most of southern Saskatchewan,” he said last week.

“And then if you head up north and east, I think temperatures will be near normal, especially from northeastern Alberta through the northern two- thirds of Saskatchewan and into Manitoba.”

AccuWeather’s outlook predicts that precipitation this fall will be consistent with what the summer brought, which Anderson said is mostly good news for this year’s harvest.

“It’s not too much change really. I do think it’s going to be fairly dry in September across southwestern portions of the province into southern Alberta so areas that have been unusually dry, the drought conditions are going to get worse before they get better,” he said.

“However, I would say (the dry weather) is probably pretty good news, especially where there has not been drought. And again, rainfall so far this summer has been near to slightly above normal across parts of central and southern Saskatchewan, which is a good thing.”

Despite the near-normal temperatures, Anderson warns that the dry conditions combined with some “cold shots” could result in a frost a little bit sooner than normal.

“The normal first date in terms of freezing, at least in Saskatoon, is about Sept. 30. That’s the normal low, but typically I think we see our first frost mid-September, on average,” Anderson said.

“I think we could maybe see it a week early, especially across the eastern portions of the province and into Manitoba. If it’s dry in September, that gives you a better chance of getting an early frost since there is no moisture in the ground and nighttime temperatures can really drop down fairly quickly so those are two things we have to factor in.”

Anderson said the Prairies might see early snow, but for the most part the region will have milder weather heading into winter.

“Based on the pattern, I would not be surprised to see some snow, in early October, especially with the cold air in, and then you get a storm coming up from the south. So that wouldn’t shock me if during the month of October we see some shenanigans there,” he said.

“November looks a little milder than normal once again. Obviously temperatures continue to fall, but relative to normal, I do believe November looks fairly mild across much of the region.”

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