Dry spring forecast for many Canadian farmers, says Weather Network
Canada's largest farming regions will be affected by lack of winter snowpack
Canada's farmers could be gearing up for a difficult season, as meteorologists are forecasting a dry spring in agricultural regions.
The Weather Network issued its spring forecast on Tuesday and says the dry weather will follow a winter with very little snowpack, which becomes an important water source for crops when it melts.
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"In agriculture we really rely on what happens in the winter to set us up for a good spring planting season," said Chris Scott, The Weather Network's chief meteorologist.
Alberta, southwest Quebec, southern Ontario and Saskatchewan — the country's largest farming regions — will be most affected by the drier climate.
"Overall, even though we may see some storms in March, we think that spring will average below normal for precipitation," Scott said of those central regions.
"If we don't get the timely spring rain in the grain-growing regions of the prairies, then we could be off to a bit of a rough start in the growing season," he added.
And although there's still snow on the horizon, Scott said March will see a lot of back-and-forth between cold air and warm — and it'll average out to be a little warmer than usual — so there won't be much chance to build up that snowpack.
But a dry spring isn't in the forecast for everyone around the country — the Atlantic provinces should expect a little more precipitation than average this year, with temperatures sitting at about the average.
In British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, spring temperatures are expected to be above normal, and precipitation should be about normal, Scott said.