Saskatchewan seeing driest spring in 70 years

By CJME News Staff
May 17, 2018 - 1:04pm

The past five months have been the driest winter and spring for Saskatchewan in 70 years, according to Environment Canada.

The average rainfall for May is 75 millimetres, but some areas like Regina have seen only about seven mm this season.

Thunderstorms rolled through some areas Wednesday night, but the rain was minimal with Lumsden recording the highest amount at only 9.7 mm and Saskatoon getting less than 2 mm.

David Phillips, chief meteorologist with Environment Canada, joined the 980 CJME Morning Show to talk about the dry spring.

“Certainly since April 1 it’s been like a thimbleful of rain that has fallen in parts of the province and Regina has maybe 15 per cent of what it would normally get,” Phillips said.

Even with rain forecast for Thursday night, there isn’t a lot of relief in sight for people concerned about the dry conditions including those battling wildfires and farmers seeding their fields.

Phillips said the long weekend temperatures should be ideal for anyone hoping to enjoy the sunshine in Saskatchewan, but admitted that’s not what agricultural producers want to hear right now.

“I have to be careful about what I say, I mean I get emotional when I talk about the weather on a long weekend and you know, I know that what’s great for camping and barbecuing is not good for farmers who are hoping for some million dollar rains.”

He said the May long weekend is often considered the unofficial kickoff to summer and the pattern of sunshine and warmth may hold true for the rest of the season.

“I looked at the next two weeks and sadly I don’t see any precipitation. So it’s going to continue to dry out and with temperatures that are going to be warmer than normal it’s going to suck up whatever moisture you have,” Phillips explained.

While some people might be cheering for the sunshine, Phillips said the hope is the forecast changes to provide the moisture farmers need.

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