Climate In Saskatchewan
The climate in Saskatchewan is characterized by intense summer heat, and winter cold.
In the summer, thunderstorms and hailstorms will occasionally liven up long lazy hot periods.
In the winter, the occasional intense blizzard will break the monotony.
The portion of Saskatchewan, from approximately Prince Albert northward, lies in the Northern Climate Zone. South of Prince Albert is in the Prairie Climate Region.
The prairie grassland, south of Saskatoon, is a somewhat arid region, with hot, relatively dry summers.
In fact summers are warmer than you would expect at these latitudes.
Cold, Cold Winters
Winters are long, and usually very cold. Temperatures can vary significantly, from year to year, and even from month to month.
Generally speaking, the cold Polar air dome will invade the Prairie provinces in winter. Periods of intense cold can last for weeks, in December and January.
The occasional severe blizzard will disrupt normal activity, sometimes for days.
At times, when Chinooks occur in Alberta, milder air from the Pacific will come down eastward from the Rocky mountains, and slip under the Polar air dome. When this happens, temperatures can rise as much as ten degrees above normal!
Hot, Hot Summers
In the summer, Saskatchewan's climate can present extreme temperatures in the mid forties Centigrade. These events are far from unusual.
Not much precipitation falls on Saskatchewan in a year, generally less than 500mm. The total can be as low as around 250mm in the southwestern high plains.
At best, these values are considered "marginal" for agriculture. To further complicate matters, the large number of sunshine hours, coupled with the intense summer heat, cause a considerable amount of evaporation.
Saskatchewan is occasionally affected by droughts that can affect two or three growing seasons in a row!
The summer heat will also cause strong convective currents that will help the formation of thunderstorms, in the southern half. Some of these reach the severe stage, and shed hailstorms, destroying portions of crops.
The climate in Saskatchewan has a way of making you appreciate the dull periods in the weather, between the extremes it can impose upon you! By way of consolation, it is one of the sunniest region of Canada ... except in December.
Stay tuned, and keep a sharp weather watch!
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