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Saskatoon returning to 'typical' spring weather in 2024

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April showers haven't exactly brought May flowers to Saskatoon just yet.

According to Environment Canada, rainfall has been recorded in Saskatoon for nearly half the month as showers, clouds and cool temperatures continue to dominate the forecast.

"It's been a pretty damp, unsettled May," meteorologist Brian Proctor said.

"A relatively cool May is probably the best way to look at it so far."

Proctor says the climate station in Saskatoon has recorded rainfall on nine of the 18 days it's been active this month.

The wet weather has been a stark contrast to spring last year.

Last year, there was a combined 9.3 millimeters of rainfall in the city in March and April before roughly 52 mm fell in May.

This year, there was 10.8 mm of rain fell in March, another 25.6 mm fell in April and so far there has been 36.6 mm of rain in May.

While those numbers may seem like more than normal, Proctor says it's actually what the area has received historically.

"We're probably looking for a much more normal spring from a moisture point of view that we saw last year is probably the best way to look at it," Proctor said.

The historical average for March is around 15.6 mm of precipitation, 22.7mm for April and 43 mm in May.

Smoke from wildfires was blanketing many parts of the prairies this time last year as a widespread dry start to spring led to plenty of extreme conditions.

"Hopefully it's going to help to alleviate some of those extreme conditions, but we're still going to be at a moisture deficit," Proctor said. "It's still going to be in drought conditions across portions of the province. But every bit of moisture we get really helps us as we start moving into that growing season"

Bill Prybylski understands that challenge all to well. The Yorkton-area farmer is working to put his 42nd crop in the ground when the fields are dry enough to do so.

"Farmers are never happy when it comes to rain," he said. "They want more then it's too much."

While his area has fared better than other part of Saskatchewan in recent years, he knows other farmers would be praising the wet weather when they consider the drought conditions the past few years.

But as each rain cloud passes over, it increases the possibility of delaying seeding, which has a trickle effect on the rest of the growing season.

"The cool conditions mean that those plants aren't germinating quite as quickly as we would hope and the longer the seed stays in the ground without germinating, it is more susceptible to soil-borne diseases," Prybylski said.

"The crops that are or have emerged, they'll be progressing more slowly and that leads to possibly some issues in the fall with frost or whatever conditions are like in the fall."

According to the latest crop report from the province released on Thursday, seeding is currently 32 per cent complete, which is up 20 per cent from last week, but behind the five-year average of 54 per cent and the 10-year average of 45 per cent.

With more showers and cool temperatures in the forecast, Pybylski and the thousands of farmers like him will be forced to work some longer hours to avoid any further delays this year.

"Obviously we can't do anything about the weather," Prybylski said.

"When the weather does allow us to be out in the fields we will we will be going hard to get to get as much done as and as quickly as possible."

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