Dry summer making its mark on crops

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If the clock could be rolled back 49 years, concerns about this becoming the fourth consecutive below average precipitation month at the local airport weather station could be put to rest.

On this day in 1966, the station received nearly two inches of rain, and 48.5 millimeters by the end of the day.

It was followed by 22.1 millimeters more, on the next day, and combined they lifted the final total of 108.5 for the month.

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That’s more than double the August norm, and with latest forecasts showing only a 60 per cent chance of showers tomorrow night,  anything close to that is very unlikely this year.

In addition, with the unofficial month-to-date total at 36.6 millimeters, it will take another fifteen just to sneak past the August average of 51.2.

As for local area grain farmers, they’ve just about made a 180 degree turn; With harvest operations now underway, they’d just as soon see the rain clouds disappear for the next few weeks.

The early reports have crop conditions in this area appearing to be about the same as last year, with yields expected to be a bit below the local average.

With producers in the north likely to receive better yields, than those to the east toward the Alberta border, canola swathing is just getting underway, and a little bit of the wheat is starting to come off.

The spotty rainfall resulted in some significantly variable conditions, but the airport station has to-date posted a growing season total for the last four months of 135 millimeters – 95 less than the May through August local area average.

What is traditionally the wettest month of the year was easily the worst one this year, as the July rainfall total was only 25.8 millimeters, or just one third of a 75.2 norm.

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Last year it was this month, which turned out to be on the low side, with a record total of only three – but this year, a 25 millimeter one day total on the third, prevented August, from getting a second consecutive dastardly dry award.

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