2021 could be shaping up to be one of the driest years yet for the province.
Former Environment Canada meteorologist Robert Paola told 680 CJOB that other years have seen similar dry spells, but 2021’s hot temperatures in Manitoba have been anything but normal.
“Your average for Winnipeg is about 13 days of 30 C or more per year we’ve already had 16 and we still have the rest of July and August to go through.”
He tweeted the city’s forecast, noting that we have not seen a steady rainfall for a month now.
Paola says June rainfalls have been steadily dropping off within the past few years
“June traditionally has been our wettest month on average with almost 100 mm of average rainfall for the month,” Paola said.
He says the early rainfalls just haven’t been materializing the way they normally would have in our climate.
Paola tweeted the outlook maps and mentioned how this is going to be hard on the agriculture industry.
This means that farmers are struggling. Agriculture critic Diljeet Brar announced in a press conference that farmers are reaching out to the government for assistance, but their calls are not being answered and now they are having to make some tough decisions.
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“They are struggling to maintain their cattle, many of them, they’re thinking of selling their cattle, they are being forced to make such tough choices.”
Opposition Leader Wab Kinew is calling upon to government to take action to help the farmers during this dry time.
“There’s just a severe lack of rain. We’ve seen drought conditions throughout most of Manitoba, really hot summer and so producers are really starting to feel that,”
“With so many farmers saying that they’re really worried about whether they are going to be able to make it through this year, it’s time for the government to take action. It’s time for the government to step up and ensure these producers are going to get the support that they need,” he added.
Both Kinew and Brar are calling on the government to suspend increases to Crown land leases and ensure the agri-stability program compensates losses.
Caring for your lawn during dry Manitoba conditions
The farmers are feeling the sting of this drought, but Manitoba residents may have noticed their own front lawns have become more crunchy than desired, while the ground around may be showing some cracks.
“The lawn around your house is very expensive to replace and we’re getting to the point where they are dry enough that we will see a lot of them maybe die off,” said Dave Hinton, president of Weed Man, “or at least thin out to such an extent that the leaves are just going to take over.”
It may be tempting to water your poor parched lawn or plants in such desert-like conditions but you may not want to do that unless you have enough water to get the job done as plants heavily rely on the moisture in the soil which is hard to obtain right now.
“When you’re watering, you certainly don’t want to give it a little bit of a dribble because that’s almost making it worse, because then the roots of the plants stay up at the surface,” said home economist Getty Stewart.
“The goal should be to try to get the roots to grow long and deep and to search out the groundwater. So regular watering is key, but you also want to make sure you are giving it enough water at the same time to make it worthwhile.”