While that’s encouraging, what determines crop year success is total precipitation posted by the local weather office in the next six months, and Environment Canada Meteorologist Lisa Caldwell, who has a long history of monitoring weather in this region, says there are two things in play this year that don’t bode well for local area precipitation prospects.
“One is that the El Nino is on the weak side,” explains Caldwell. “But when you combine it with this…Pacific Decadal Oscillation; it oscillates between really warm and really cold.”
She says the Pacific Decadal Oscillation returns about every ten years.
“The year, there’s a very warm pool of water off the west coast, and of course when you have that happening, then it is keeping most of the pacific storm and driving them up to Alaska instead of having them come up and over the mountains and skid through into Alberta,” adds Caldwell.
She said the upper ridge appears almost certain to stay put for the rest of this month, but all it would take for heavier precipitation is for that ridge to shift a little further off the coast.
Asked if that appears likely for the Peace Region’s traditionally heavy precipitation months of June and July, Caldwell said, “I can’t remember any summer where there wasn’t at least one or two upper lows that formed and there was a good soaking rain.”