Drought has been an ongoing issue on the Prairies for months, which will only get worse in the coming days with no substantial relief in sight. The only areas seeing any decent support for the dry conditions will be on the northern Prairies, where a cold front is bringing heavier rain. The southern sections may see thunderstorms Saturday, and an even smaller area is at risk for storms Sunday, but the threat is very isolated and most places won't see a drop. The upside: Temperatures are on the rebound this weekend, with summer-like warmth returning next week –– potentially bringing 30-degree daytime highs back to parts of Alberta by Tuesday. Details and timing, below.
SATURDAY: RISK FOR THUNDERSTORMS, BUT OFFERS LITTLE RAIN FOR SOUTHERN PRAIRIES
A cold front will continue to slice through the northern Prairies Saturday, bringing rain, while a surface trough races through the southern half with a thunderstorm threat.
Most of Alberta will remain dry, aside from northern sections, where the rain will continue. The southern half of Saskatchewan, a portion of northeastern Alberta and a good chunk of Manitoba will see the potential for thunderstorms to develop in the afternoon and evening.
However, not a lot of moisture is available in the south, so not everyone will see thunderstorms as they will be very isolated in nature. But any storm that does spark up could bring some needed heavy rainfall, along with small hail.
With the front, the heaviest rainfall will remain primarily north of the Yellowhead.
Temperatures will be near seasonal for across the region, with Saturday marking the start of an upward climb that will continue into next week, when summer-like heat is expected to return.
SUNDAY: STORM THREAT PUSHES EAST, CONDITIONS IMPROVE IN WEST
Sunday’s thunderstorm risk shifts into northwestern Ontario, where there is potential for stronger thunderstorms to develop closer to the international border. The threat extends west a bit into southeastern Manitoba, as well.
Any storms that pop up in this region in the afternoon and evening hours could bring slightly larger hail and heavy rainfall.
Meanwhile, most of the Prairies will see an improvement over Saturday, with clear skies and temperatures continuing to climb. Daytime highs will be slightly warmer, reaching the low- to mid-20s in southern parts of the region.
LOOK AHEAD: SUMMER-LIKE HEAT, DRY PATTERN RETURNS NEXT WEEK
The surge of warmth will push temperatures into the upper 20s for much of the southern Prairies by Tuesday, possibly reaching or exceeding 30°C in southwestern Alberta. By Wednesday, much of southern Alberta will hit or exceed the 30-degree mark, as well as parts of southern Manitoba.
The heat will continue spreading east into southern areas of Saskatchewan and Manitoba by late week.
Accompanying the warm-up will be abundant sunshine, continuing through the middle of the week -- resulting in a dry pattern once more. However, more unsettled conditions will return late week on the weekend, especially for central and northern parts of the Prairies, where significant rainfall is possible. But most of the southern section of the region will see very little rain.
A cooler pattern is expected across the region for next weekend and into the start of the second week of June.
Thumbnail courtesy of NOAA on Unsplash..
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