It’s the first official day of summer today.. but the weather this week doesn’t appear to be changing much from the unsettled pattern of the past few weeks. An active jet stream across the northern US is carrying occasional waves of energy from the west that are spawning periodic showers and thunderstorms across southern MB.. including today and Tuesday. For today, an area of showers and thunderstorms over northern North Dakota has drifted north into the Red River valley, bringing another round of rainfall to southern MB.. something we don’t need. Rainfall amounts of 15-25 mm have been recorded along the US border this morning with heavier amounts over northern ND. These showers have been weakening this morning, but local amounts of 5-15 mm are possible across the RRV and southeast MB today. Another impulse is forecast to move across southern MB Tuesday triggering more showers and thunderstorms.. with locally heavy rain likely again. This is unwelcome news for the southern Prairies which is struggling with saturated soil conditions and high water levels thanks to an exceptionally wet May and June so far that have seen some very heavy rainstorms at times.
So what kind of summer should we expect this year? According to NOAA’s Climatic Prediction Center, odds favour a cooler and wetter than normal summer this year over the Northern Plains (and southern Prairies). NWS Grand Forks’ summer outlook for the Red River valley calls for a warmer and drier finish to the summer after a cool and wet start. With all the ground moisture out there, odds would favour a wetter summer since soil moisture is such a critical factor in the development of convective precipitation over the Prairies (drought begets drought, likewise rain begets rain). Whatever the case, after last year’s cool wet summer, residents of southern MB are hoping this summer turns around soon from it’s less than ideal start.