PEI

Wet June holding off drought on P.E.I., says Agriculture Canada

Despite an exceptionally dry July, Agriculture Canada's latest drought monitoring report shows only parts of P.E.I. as abnormally dry, with other sections still showing normal moisture.

Driest July at Charlottetown Airport since 1985

Conditions are abnormally dry around Charlottetown, but in the normal range further west in the province. (Submitted by Connor Mycroft)

Despite an exceptionally dry July, Agriculture Canada's latest drought monitoring report shows only parts of P.E.I. as abnormally dry, with other sections still showing normal moisture.

Patrick Cherneski, manager of Agriculture Canada's national climate information service, credits a very wet June with keeping drought on the Island at bay.

"In June there was more rainfall, so that previous rainfall is carrying forward and helping with soil moisture and the growing season," said Cherneski.

"In short, P.E.I. is not yet in drought, but if these hot and dry conditions continue of course the possibility exists that conditions will degrade and move into drought."

As of July 29, Environment Canada reported just 26.3 mm of rain at Charlottetown Airport. With no rain in the forecast to the end of the month, that would be the driest July since 1985, and the 10th driest on record.

Average rainfall for July is 79.9 mm.

Rainfall varies across province

But June was abnormally wet, with 152.4 mm at Charlottetown Airport. The average is 98.8 mm.

It is worth noting that rainfall has been spotty across the province. The P.E.I. Potato Board reports while some farmers' fields are very dry others are not doing so badly.

Environment Canada has recorded about 50 per cent more July rain in Summerside than in Charlottetown.

That is reflected in Agriculture Canada's drought report. The abnormally dry area starts just west of Charlottetown and extends east. Some far eastern parts of the province are in the normal range for moisture.

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About the Author

Kevin Yarr is the early morning web journalist at CBC P.E.I. You can reach him at kevin.yarr@cbc.ca.

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