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Spring 2019 driest in Saskatoon and Moose Jaw recorded history

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WATCH: Bone-dry conditions persist in Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and much of Saskatchewan this spring – Jun 5, 2019

There has never been a drier spring on record for Saskatoon and Moose Jaw, according to data from Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Spring precipitation in Saskatoon was nine per cent of the normal, with Saskatchewan’s largest city only seeing 7.5 millimetres of rain between March 1 and May 31. Moose Jaw received a quarter of its typical precipitation with 21 millimetres.

READ MORE: 30 degree heat slides away with the potential for some steadier rain

Both cities have records dating back more than a century.

Swift Current, North Battleford and Key Lake experienced their third driest springs. Regina posted its eighth driest spring with 34 per cent of its normal precipitation.

Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Terri Lang said a “blocking pattern” kept a jet stream well to the south of Saskatchewan.

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“In the last month or so, the United States has really been active with tornadoes and severe weather because that’s where the jet stream is,” Lang said.

Lang said there is a year-over-year compounding effect, describing 2014 as the last “really wet year” in the province.

READ MORE: Low water levels measured on South Saskatchewan River

For a second consecutive year, province-wide drought conditions have been putting pressure on agricultural producers.

Bryan Willms has a cattle operation near Dundurn, Sask., where he described the impact as “quite significant.”

Feed supplies are short and expensive, he said. Hoping for rain, many farmers are keeping herds out of pastures until the grass greens up.

“We’re running out of options,” Willms said.

Showers are possible this weekend, but Willms fears it might be too late.

“It’s going to take a significant, multiple-inch rain, and not just now. [Rain is] needed at some timely points in the season,” he said.
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