June 17, 2019 11:53 am
Updated: June 17, 2019 3:58 pm

Alberta weather: province continues to battle drought as summer begins

WATCH: Drought continues to be a major concern across western Canada. Global’s Tiffany Lizée has a little insight on what that means for southern Alberta.


Cool, wet weather is moving in as we close out spring and welcome summer — but rain is a good thing, as drought conditions continue into June for parts of Alberta.

The most recent Canadian Drought Monitor map shows abnormally dry to extremely drought conditions extending across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

READ MORE: Over 200mm rain needed to ease drought conditions in southern Sask.

The Canadian Drought Monitor showing the most recent conditions across southern Alberta as of May 31, 2019.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

READ MORE: Okanagan raised to level two drought rating

The impact is widespread with 40 per cent of the prairie population dealing with moderate to exceptional drought conditions.

Much of the Prairies have only had about 60 per cent of the normal amount of moisture over the past six months, and this isn’t a new issue; parts of Alberta have been running a moisture deficit for years.

The Canadian Drought Monitor showing the most recent conditions across southern Alberta as of May 31, 2019.

Cody Coats/Global News

READ MORE: Alberta wildfires are ‘climate change in action,’ scientist says as summer heat looms

According to the Canadian Drought Monitor, Calgary and Lethbridge are abnormally dry, and Edmonton is currently in a moderate drought state.

Dry conditions are a major concern for gardeners, producers and farmers. Pastures are not recovering quick enough and that’s forcing producers to dip into supplemental feed. Poor soil moisture could mean another year of low-quality crops for farmers.

READ MORE: 2019 has seen the driest spring on record for some Alberta communities

Northern Alberta has been battling intense and out-of-control wildfires this spring, and a large portion of the north is in a severe or extreme drought state.

According to Environment Canada, 2019 has been the driest spring on record in several parts of Alberta.

The Canadian seasonal prediction system is an ensemble prediction system whose objective is to forecast the evolution of meteorological trends over the next seasons.

Environment Canada

June, July and August are forecast to be drier than normal in northern Alberta. However, conditions in the southeast are looking to improve with above average precipitation expected.

To stay updated with radar and weather alerts in your area, download the Global News Skytracker weather app for iPhone, iPad or Android.

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