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Major Warm-up Could Spell Trouble for Parts of the Prairies

April 24, 2013; 2:22 PM ET

As I have been hinting at over the past few weeks, a significant warm-up will begin across the southern Prairie region tomorrow (Thursday) and will persist into the first half of the weekend before a turn to colder weather later Sunday and early next week.

Obviously, the good news for most across this region is that it will actually feel like real spring for a change with temperatures in the mid to upper teens C in many areas Thursday then near 20 C Friday and Saturday.

The bad news is that there is a lot of snow on the ground in many areas which is going to start melting in a hurry the next few days. With a frozen ground, this water will just run off into the streams and rivers, leading to a steady rise and flood threat.

Major rivers from Alberta to Saskatchewan

Latest observed snow cover (cm) across the Prairies.

Where soil moisture is running unusually high according to EC and the CPC.

The other major issue is the spring planting (see below).

Luckily, we do not see any major rainfall with this warm-up.

Percentage of normal precipitation over the past 60 days.

This warm-up will get erased by a sharp cold front sweeping south during Sunday and this will bring temperatures back to normal and slightly below the first half of next week before another warm-up begins the second half of next week.

Letter from west-central Saskatchewan....

By the way, I received a letter from one of my readers in west-central Saskatchewan describing the situation for farmers in that area.

He talks about how the farmers are getting quite worried, as there is still deep snow in the fields and typical seeding usually begins in early May. Clearly, that will not be the case this year as the fields will no doubt be too wet (melted snow/ice) for planting right into early May.

He predicts that there will be a lot of early maturing crops that will be planted this year instead of the regular ones.


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Brett Anderson
Brett Anderson covers both short-term and long-term weather and storm forecasts for Canada in this blog for