2016 Annual Report of Agroclimate Conditions Across Canada

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Executive Summary

This is a brief overview of Canadian agroclimate conditions during the 2016 agricultural growing season. Globally, 2016 was the hottest year on record, replacing the record set in 2015Footnote 1. One of the strongest-ever El Niño events influenced weather patterns around the world and in Canada resulted in the second warmest winter on record and the fourth warmest year in 70 years. Throughout the 2016 growing season Canada's agricultural regions experienced excessive moisture, flooding, drought, wildfires, damaging winds, severe storm events, and abnormally hot and cool periods.

Precipitation Compared to Historical Distribution (November 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016)

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Description: Map of Canada showing percentile rankings of precipitation from November 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 compared to historical distribution. The categories, in order of driest to wettest, are as follows: Record Dry, Extremely Low (0-10), Very Low (10-20), Low (20-40), Mid-Range (40-60), High (60-80), Very High (80-90), Extremely High (90-100), Record Wet. The numbers are percentile categories.

Data is only displayed within Canada's agricultural extent.

Precipitation was distributed as follows:

  • Record Dry in:
    • a small pocket in northwestern British Columbia northwest of Burns Lake;
    • a small pocket in eastern British Columbia near McBride;
    • several tiny pockets in central Alberta; and
    • two tiny pockets in eastern Newfoundland including St. John’s.
  • Extremely Low (<0 to 10) in:
    • a large area in northern British Columbia, not including Fort St. John;
    • a large proportion of the agricultural region in Alberta including a large pocket in central Alberta ranging from Edmonton to the northern border of the United States, an area northeast of Grande Prairie, and a small area southwest of High Level;
    • small pockets scattered across southern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba; and
    • small areas in the southern agricultural regions of Newfoundland including St. John’s.
  • Very Low (10 to 20) in:
    • several small pockets scattered across northern British Columbia;
    • a small area in northwestern Alberta;
    • a pocket surrounding the Extremely Low pocket in central Alberta;
    • a large region in southern Saskatchewan;
    • a pocket in southern Manitoba southwest of Winnipeg; and
    • several tiny pockets scattered across the Prairie region and southern Ontario.
  • Low (20 to 40) in:
    • a small pocket in northeastern British Columbia including Fort St. John;
    • a large area surrounding the Extremely Low pockets in Alberta, including Calgary, Lethbridge and High Level;
    • a large region of southern Saskatchewan including Saskatoon and Regina;
    • most of the agricultural area of Manitoba except for the southeast and southwest corners;
    • several small pockets in southern Ontario running along the northern shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario; and
    • several small pockets scattered across southern Québec, eastern Québec, Nova Scotia, and northern Newfoundland.
  • Mid-Range (40 to 60) in:
    • several small pockets scattered across northern and southwestern Alberta including the southeastern border of British Columbia;
    • a large region encompassing much of the agricultural area north of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, running from the border with Alberta to the border with Manitoba;
    • a small pocket southeast of Winnipeg in Manitoba;
    • a large area in southern Ontario running from the eastern shore of Lake Huron in the west to Kingston in the east;
    • a large portion of eastern and southern Québec including Montréal; and
    • several small pockets in central Nova Scotia.
  • High (60 to 80) in:
    • several areas of southern British Columbia including Kamloops and Vancouver;
    • a small pocket surrounding Cold Lake in Alberta;
    • several small pockets scattered across northern Saskatchewan;
    • a small pocket northwest of Winnipeg in Manitoba;
    • several small pockets in northern Ontario including Thunder Bay and Cochrane;
    • a large area in southern Ontario running north of the Mid-Range pocket in this area;
    • several pockets in southern and eastern Québec including Trois-Rivières and Québec City;
    • all of the agricultural regions in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island; and
    • several small pockets in central Nova Scotia.
  • Very High (80 to 90) in:
    • a large region in southern British Columbia including Victoria and Kelowna;
    • a small pocket southeast of Winnipeg in Manitoba; and
    • several pockets scattered across central Ontario and central Québec including Sault Ste. Marie.
  • Extremely High (90 to 100) in:
    • several small pockets in southern British Columbia;
    • a small pocket southeast of Winnipeg in Manitoba; and
    • a large area running from northeast of Georgian Bay in Ontario to Mont-Laurier in Québec.
  • Record Wet (>100) in:
    • several small pockets in southern British Columbia including west of Kamloops and north of Vancouver; and
    • a couple pockets in eastern Ontario.

Produced using near real-time data that has undergone initial quality control. The map may not be accurate for all regions due to data availability and data errors.

In western Canada, the growing season started dry and finished under wet conditions; in eastern Canada, the season began wet and ended under dry conditions. Overall, agricultural production fared better than initially expected given the significant agroclimate risks of excess moisture and drought. Crop yields were the second highest on record, with the exception of corn in Ontario. Excess moisture in parts of the Prairie region resulted in decreases in crop quality and yields and, as of the end of December, 2.5 million acres remained unharvested.

An early warm, dry spring in 2016 resulted in poor soil moisture conditions for seeding across much of Canada. Concerns over drought in the Prairie region began to increase but were soon alleviated by significant rainfall throughout late May and June. Summer storms across the Prairie region resulted in flooding, crop damage, and excess moisture concerns. Warm, dry conditions in eastern Canada continued through the summer worsening drought in southern and eastern Ontario, southern Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

Growing Season Precipitation Compared to Historical Distribution (April 1 to July 31, 2016) - Canada

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Description: Map of Canada showing percentile rankings of precipitation from April 1, 2016 to July 31, 2016 compared to historical distribution. The categories, in order of driest to wettest, are as follows: Record Dry, Extremely Low (0-10), Very Low (10-20), Low (20-40), Mid-Range (40-60), High (60-80), Very High (80-90), Extremely High (90-100), Record Wet. The numbers are percentile categories.

Data is only displayed within Canada's agricultural extent.

Precipitation was distributed as follows:

  • Record Dry in:
    • an area in southeastern Ontario spanning from east to Toronto to west of Belleville;
    • several tiny regions in southeastern Ontario including Kingston and Spanish; and
    • two small pockets close to Sherbrooke in Québec.
  • Extremely Low (<0 to 10) in:
    • several tiny regions in southwestern British Columbia including southern Vancouver Island, Salmon Arm, and north of Whistler;
    • two small areas surrounding North Bay and Petawawa in Ontario;
    • an area north of Lake Huron in Ontario including Elliot Lake and most of Manitoulin Island;
    • a large area of southeastern Ontario, running along the shore of Lake Ontario from Niagara Falls to Cornwall;
    • a pocket in southern Québec surrounding Sherbrooke; and
    • a small area west of Summerside, Prince Edward Island.
  • Very Low (10 to 20) in:
    • a small area on Vancouver Island in British Columbia;
    • a small area east of Vancouver in British Columbia;
    • a small pocket east of the Low pocket around Sault Ste Marie in Ontario;
    • a large region in southeastern Ontario including Sudbury and Ottawa;
    • an area west of Toronto in Ontario including Tobermory;
    • an area in southern Quebec including Montreal
    • two small pockets in Nova Scotia; one along the border with New Brunswick and the other south of Halifax; and
    • an area covering most of Prince Edward Island.
  • Low (20 to 40) in:
    • several tiny regions scattered across the Prairie Region including Lac La Biche and Crowsnest Pass, Alberta;
    • a small pocket around Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario;
    • an area in the southwestern portion of southern Ontario including Chatham-Kent;
    • an area in southern Québec including Mont-Tremblant, Rouyn-Noranda, and Québec City;
    • two small areas in New Brunswick around Saint John and Moncton; and
    • an area encompassing much of southern Nova Scotia including Yarmouth and Truro.
  • Mid-Range (40 to 60) in:
    • several small pockets in British Columbia’s southern Interior including Kelowna;
    • a large area running through central Alberta including Red Deer, Cold Lake, and High Level;
    • a pocket north of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan;
    • several small pockets in east-central Saskatchewan;
    • a large pocket in western Manitoba;
    • several tiny regions scattered across Ontario including Cochrane and Nipigon;
    • an area in eastern Québec both east and west of the Low pocket in Québec City;
    • most of the agricultural area of New Brunswick, not including Saint John and Moncton; and
    • most of the agricultural regions of eastern Newfoundland.
  • High (60 to 80) in:
    • a large area in British Columbia’s southern Interior including Fernie, and Nelson;
    • two areas in British Columbia around Quesnel and Smithers;
    • a large region encompassing much of Alberta surrounding the Mid-Range pocket including Calgary, but not Grande Prairie and Edmonton;
    • a large area in central Saskatchewan including Saskatoon and Regina;
    • a large region in south-central Manitoba including Dauphin and Winnipeg;
    • an area in eastern Québec along the border with New Brunswick;
    • a small region in northern Nova Scotia; and
    • most of the agricultural regions of western Newfoundland.
  • Very High (80 to 90) in:
    • a large region in British Columbia’s Interior including Kamloops and Cranbrook;
    • a large area in British Columbia’s Peace Region including Fort St. John;
    • a large area in northwestern Alberta along the northeastern border of British Columbia;
    • an area in Alberta spanning east of Edmonton towards Lloydminster;
    • a large region in southeastern Alberta along the southwestern border of Saskatchewan;
    • a large pocket in southern Saskatchewan, running from the southeastern border of Alberta and along the United States border to the southwestern border of Manitoba;
    • a large area in southern Manitoba; and
    • several tiny patches scattered across eastern Canada including Thunder Bay in Ontario, Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, and Grand Falls in New Brunswick.
  • Extremely High (90 to 100) in:
    • several small areas within the Very High pocket in British Columbia’s Interior including Williams Lake;
    • an area in British Columbia’s Peace Region southwest of Fort St. John;
    • an area in northwestern Alberta including Grande Prairie;
    • a small pocket east of Edmonton in Alberta;
    • a region in southeastern Alberta along the southwestern border of Saskatchewan;
    • a large pocket in southwestern Saskatchewan
    • a pocket in southeastern Saskatchewan running along the border with the United States;
    • a pocket surrounding Flin Flon in Manitoba;
    • an area in southeastern Manitoba running along the border with the United States; and
    • a tiny patch on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.
  • Record Wet in:
    • a large area in southwestern Saskatchewan including Swift Current and the surrounding area; and
    • several tiny pockets scattered across the country, including regions of central British Columbia, Alberta, southern Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba, eastern Québec, Newfoundland, and Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.

Produced using near real-time data that has undergone initial quality control. The map may not be accurate for all regions due to data availability and data errors.

Drought conditions in the east peaked in early to mid-August, with rain coming too late for some crops. By December, regions significantly impacted by drought were designated eligible for the Livestock Tax Deferral ProvisionFootnote 2. Going into winter, soil moisture levels remained low in parts of southern Ontario and Nova Scotia, and excess moisture conditions remained in the Prairie region. Flooding may pose a risk for the eastern Prairies in the spring of 2017.

British Columbia

Growing Season Precipitation Compared to Historical Distribution (April 1 to October 31, 2016) - British Columbia

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Description: Map of British Columbia in Canada showing percentile rankings of precipitation from April 1, 2016 to October 31, 2016 compared to historical distribution. The categories, in order of driest to wettest, are as follows: Record Dry, Extremely Low (0-10), Very Low (10-20), Low (20-40), Mid-Range (40-60), High (60-80), Very High (80-90), Extremely High (90-100), Record Wet. The numbers are percentile categories.

Data is only displayed within Canada's agricultural extent.

Precipitation was distributed as follows:

  • Record Dry in:
    • a tiny pocket in northwest British Columbia.
  • Extremely Low (0 to 10) in:
    • a tiny pocket around Whistler;
    • the agricultural region on Haida Gwaii; and
    • a tiny pocket in northwest British Columbia.
  • Very Low (10 to 20) in:
    •  a few tiny regions surrounding the Extremely Low pockets.
  • Low (20 to 40) in:
    • a small area east of Vancouver;
    • a tiny pocket around Whistler;
    • a tiny pocket around Salmon Arm; and
    • a small area in northwestern British Columbia.
  • Mid-Range (40 to 60) in:
    • a small area surrounding the Low pocket east of Vancouver;
    • a pocket south of Vernon;
    • a tiny pocket surrounding the Low pocket around Salmon Arm; and
    • a small area in northwestern British Columbia.
  • High (60 to 80) in:
    • an area in British Columbia’s southern Interior including Vernon;
    • an area in British Columbia’s northern Interior stretching from Quesnel to Prince George;
    • a small area northwest of Burns Lake in northwestern British Columbia; and
    • several small pockets scattered across the province including Victoria on Vancouver Island and Osoyoos.
  • Very High (80 to 90) in:
    • a large region of British Columbia’s Interior including Fraser Lake, Valemont and Oliver; and
    • small pockets on the agricultural area on Vancouver Island.
  • Extremely High (90 to 100) in:
    • a large region of British Columbia’s Interior including Grand Forks, Williams Lake, and Cranbrook;
    • a large area in British Columbia’s Peace Region including Fort St. John; and
    • a large region of the agricultural area of Vancouver Island including Nanaimo.
  • Record Wet in:
    • a small pocket north of Williams Lake;
    • a small pocket around Kamloops;
    • a small pocket around Kimberly;
    • a pocket west of Dawson Creek in the Peace Region; and
    • several tiny pockets scattered across the province.

Produced using near real-time data that has undergone initial quality control. The map may not be accurate for all regions due to data availability and data errors.

Above average temperatures and a low snowpack, especially in western regions, contributed to early snowmelt and spring runoff throughout the province. Many streams reached their peak flows much earlier than normal. Hot, dry spring conditions resulted in an early start to the growing season and the fire season. Despite early concerns for drought, a wet, cool summer season resulted in adequate moisture throughout most agricultural regions of the province. The most significant climate-related impact was excess moisture in the Peace River region. Above normal precipitation throughout the growing season resulted in localized flooding and infrastructure damage. Excess moisture combined with the early onset of winter resulted in reduced yields and some crop loss. All other regions of the province experienced ideal conditions over the growing season, and harvest was completed with no significant agroclimate impacts.

Prairie Region (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba)

Below normal snowfall over the winter resulted in the development of drought conditions in the spring. The most significant agroclimate impacts at the start of the growing season were drought, wind, and wildfires in Alberta, and to a lesser extent in northern Saskatchewan. Hot, dry conditions and poor soil moisture delayed crop emergence, increased soil erosion, and resulted in stunted pasture and hay development. However, conditions abruptly changed in late May with persistent and significant precipitation. As summer progressed, frequent and abnormally slow-moving storms with heavy rain resulted in localized flooding and excess soil moisture. There were numerous reports of large hail, heavy rain, high winds, and tornadoes. One such storm event during the August long weekend began in Alberta and moved through Saskatchewan resulting in damage to crops, buildings, machinery and significant localized flooding. The Prairie region experienced more than twice the number of tornadoes, almost three times the number of hail events, and a third more heavy rain events during the 2016 summer season than normal.

Frequent rain and abnormally cool weather hindered harvest progress throughout late September and much of October when early snowfalls halted field operations. By the end of the growing season, a large portion of the Prairie region had received more than 200 per cent of average precipitation, with 93 per cent of the agricultural area (representing 40,740 farms and 7.6 million cattle) receiving high to record-high precipitation. Following a cold, wet autumn, the Prairie region recorded its warmest November on record with more than 300 daily high temperature records set in the first two weeks of the month. The above normal warm conditions through November allowed the majority of harvest and haying operations to be completed by the end of the month. However, ten per cent of Alberta crops, and up to eleven per cent of Saskatchewan crops, will remain in the field until spring.

Growing Season Precipitation Compared to Historical Distribution (April 1 to October 31, 2016) - Prairie Region

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Description: Map of the Prairie Region of Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba) showing percentile rankings of precipitation from April 1, 2016 to October 31, 2016 compared to historical distribution. The categories, in order of driest to wettest, are as follows: Record Dry, Extremely Low (0-10), Very Low (10-20), Low (20-40), Mid-Range (40-60), High (60-80), Very High (80-90), Extremely High (90-100), Record Wet. The numbers are percentile categories.

Data is only displayed within Canada's agricultural extent.

Precipitation was distributed as follows:

  • Record Dry to Very Low (0 to 20) did not occur in any areas of the Prairie Region during this time period.
  • Low (20 to 40) in:
    • several tiny pockets scattered across southern Alberta and northwestern Saskatchewan.
  • Mid-Range (40 to 60) in:
    • a pocket around High Level in Alberta;
    • a pocket around Lac La Biche in Alberta;
    • a pocket around Red Deer; and
    • several tiny pockets scattered across Alberta and northwestern Saskatchewan.
  • High (60 to 80) in:
    • a large region encompassing much of central Alberta including Calgary, Edmonton, Cold Lake, and High Level, but not Grande Prairie;
    • a small pocket in northern Saskatchewan including the Battleford and Price Albert; and
    • a region in Manitoba between the southeastern shore of Lake Manitoba and the southwestern shore of Lake Winnipeg.
  • Very High (80 to 90) in:
    • a large area in northwestern Alberta including Grande Prairie and running south towards Banff;
    • a pocket east of Edmonton in Alberta;
    • a large pocket in central Saskatchewan including Saskatoon;
    • a large pocket encompassing most of central Manitoba including Winnipeg; and
    • several tiny pockets scattered all across the Prairie Region.
  • Extremely High (90 to 100) in:
    • a large area in northwestern Alberta including Grande Prairie and running south towards Banff;
    • a pocket surrounding the Very High pocket east of Edmonton in Alberta;
    • a large region in southeastern Alberta along the southwestern border of Saskatchewan;
    • a large pocket encompassing most of the agricultural region of Saskatchewan including Regina; and
    • a large pocket encompassing most of the agricultural region of southern and western Manitoba.
  • Record Wet in:
    • a large area in southwestern Saskatchewan including Swift Current and the surrounding area;
    • a small pocket running along the northern border between Manitoba and Saskatchewan including Flin Flon, Manitoba; and
    • several tiny pockets scattered across the region, including regions of northern Alberta, southern Saskatchewan, and southern Manitoba.

Produced using near real-time data that has undergone initial quality control. The map may not be accurate for all regions due to data availability and data errors.

Central Region (Ontario, Quebec)

Central Canada experienced a cool and wet early spring and received more than 150 per cent of average precipitation. However, in May the situation drastically changed and drought conditions began to impact crop development. Ontario and portions of Quebec remained very dry throughout the summer, and drought resulted in negative impacts to crop development.  Corn, soybeans and hay were the most significantly impacted crops. Portions of Ontario recorded the sixth driest summer on record since 1938. By August, most agricultural regions had precipitation deficits of 40 millimetres (mm) to 100 mm, and  severe deficits of more than 120 mm existed in southern Ontario and Quebec along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Rainfall in early fall recharged the soil moisture and improved drought conditions, but not enough to alleviate moisture deficits. At the end of October, 53 per cent of forage crops and 98 per cent of soybean crops were under drought conditions in Ontario. At that time, 78 per cent of the agricultural area in Ontario had received low to record-low precipitation, representing 18,580 farms and 1.5 million cattle.  Final harvest results were mixed depending on the crop type and timeliness of rain events. Overall, provincial corn and soybean yields were average and above average respectively, but eastern areas experienced marked decreases. Drought conditions in southern Quebec improved over the fall, and harvest was essentially completed by the end of October, under ideal conditions.

Growing Season Precipitation Compared to Historical Distribution (April 1 to October 31, 2016) - Central Region

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Description: Map of the Central Region of Canada (Ontario, Québec) showing percentile rankings of precipitation from April 1, 2016 to October 31, 2016 compared to historical distribution. The categories, in order of driest to wettest, are as follows: Record Dry, Extremely Low (0-10), Very Low (10-20), Low (20-40), Mid-Range (40-60), High (60-80), Very High (80-90), Extremely High (90-100), Record Wet. The numbers are percentile categories.

Data is only displayed within Canada's agricultural extent.

Precipitation was distributed as follows:

  • Record Dry in:
    • a pocket north of Toronto in Ontario; and
    • several tiny pockets scattered along the northern shores of Lake Ontario.
  • Extremely Low (<0 to 10) in:
    • a large area of southeastern Ontario, running along the shore of Lake Ontario from Niagara Falls to Kingston and as far north as Parry Sound;
    • a small pocket surrounding North Bay in Ontario;
    • a small pocket surrounding Petawawa in Ontario;
    • a pocket in southern Québec surrounding Sherbrooke; and
    • a couple of tiny pockets close to Rouyn-Noranda in Québec.
  • Very Low (10 to 20) in:
    • a large area in central Ontario encompassing the region between the northern shore of Georgian Bay east to the border with Québec and south to Cornwall;
    • a pocket in western Québec surrounding the Extremely Low pockets near Rouyn-Noranda; and
    • a small pocket close to Granby in Québec.
  • Low (20 to 40) in:
    • a large area encompassing much of southern Ontario including Sudbury, London, Tobermory, and Ottawa;
    • a large pocket in western Québec surrounding the Very Low pocket near Rouyn-Noranda;
    • a pocket in Québec stretching along the southeastern border of Ontario towards but not including Montreal;
    • an area close to Granby in Québec, running along the northern border of the United States; and
    • a tiny pocket in eastern Québec around Rivière-du-Loup.
  • Mid-Range (40 to 60) in:
    • a small pocket between London and Windsor in Ontario;
    • a small pocket surrounding Bancroft in Ontario; and
    • a large region encompassing much of southern and eastern Québec including Québec City.
  • High (60 to 80) in:
    • several tiny regions scattered across Ontario including Sault Ste. Marie, Cochrane and Nipigon;
    • an area in Ontario surrounding Windsor; and
    • several small pockets in southern and eastern Québec including a pocket around Montréal.
  • Very High (80 to 90) in:
    • several tiny pockets in eastern Québec and eastern Ontario.
  • Extremely High (90 to 100) in:
    • a couple tiny pockets in eastern Québec and eastern Ontario.
  • Record Wet in:
    • a tiny pocket of eastern Québec, northeast of Québec City.

Produced using near real-time data that has undergone initial quality control. The map may not be accurate for all regions due to data availability and data errors.

Atlantic Region

Atlantic Canada had a slow start to the growing season, as excess moisture and cool temperatures delayed field operations in the spring. By the end of May, conditions improved and operations caught up to near-seasonal. As in the Central region, much of the Atlantic region, particularly Prince Edward Island and southern Nova Scotia, received extremely low precipitation, with parts of Nova Scotia experiencing the driest summer in more than 90 years. Significant late season precipitation improved soil moisture conditions across the region which aided potato yields, but the rain came too late for corn and soybean crops which reported below average yields due to dry summer conditions.

Growing conditions were mixed for fruit and berry producers. Cranberry yields were good as the warm dry weather staved off fungi. Wild blueberry producers, apple growers and vintners also benefited from the dry heat as it produced smaller but sweeter produce with high yields. Conversely, strawberry and cherry crops were down 15 and 60 per cent respectively due to precipitation deficits. Moderate drought persisted through the fall in southern Nova Scotia and southern New Brunswick, where water supply issues and forage shortages occurred.  Yields of corn and soybeans were slightly below average due to the dry summer.

Canadian Drought Monitor (August 31, 2016)

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Description: Map of Eastern Canada showing drought conditions at the end of August, 2016. Drought levels, in increasing order of severity, are as follows: Abnormally Dry, Moderate Drought, Severe Drought, Extreme Drought, and Exceptional Drought. The more severe types of drought are always surrounded by less severe types of drought (for example, wherever there is Moderate Drought, it is surrounded by Abnormally Dry conditions).

Drought conditions are present in:

  • Ontario:
    • Abnormally Dry conditions in:
      • an area from Weagamow Lake to Attawapiskat Lake;
      • a small patch surrounding Red Lake and Ear Falls;
      • a small area around Nipigon and Terrace Bay;
      • an area surrounding Homepayne;
      • a large patch covering much of southern Ontario including Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, Kingston, Ottawa, Toronto, London and Niagara Falls; and
      • a tiny pocket around Windsor.
    • Moderate Drought in:
      • a small area surrounding Little Current, northwest of Georgian Bay;
      • a large area extending from North Bay towards Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara Falls and Kingston; and
      • a tiny sliver along the border to Québec.
    • Severe Drought in:
      • a small pocket around Niagara Falls; and
      • a small area reaching from east of Toronto towards Kingston.
  • Québec:
    • Abnormally Dry conditions in:
      • an small area from the southern border with Ontario south of Montréal, but including Granby and Sherbrooke;
      • a small sliver along the western border with Ontario including Lac Kipawa and Lac des Quinze;
      • a small area on the eastern half of Île d’Anticosti;
      • a small pocket northwest of St-Augustin; and
      • a large area along the northern border to Newfoundland and Labrador including Kangiqsualujjuaq
    • Moderate Drought in:
      • a small area southwest of Montréal around Lac Saint-Louis; and
      • a small patch around Sherbrooke and Magog.
  • New Brunswick:
    • Abnormally Dry conditions in:
      • a small area along the southeastern border from Moncton to Saint John.
    • Moderate Drought in:
      • a tiny pocket just along the border with Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island:
    • Abnormally Dry conditions in:
      • an area covering the entire island.
    • Moderate Drought in:
      • an area covering the entire island.
  • Nova Scotia:
    • Abnormally Dry conditions in:
      • a large area spanning much of the western side of the province, including Pictou Landing, Bible Hill, Halifax and Wedgeport.
    • Moderate Drought in:
      • an area covering much of the western half of the province, from the border to New Brunswick to Chester, Liverpool and Wedgeport.
    • Severe Drought in:
      • a tiny pocket south of New Minas; and
      • a small area on the southern-most edge of the province including Wedgeport
  • Newfoundland and Labrador:
    • Abnormally Dry conditions in:
      • a large area spanning across the southern edge of Newfoundland, from Cape Ray to St. John’s and Catalina;
      • a patch around Smallwood Reservoir in Labrador; and
      • a small area in northern areas of the province bordering with Québec.

The Drought Monitor focuses on broad-scale conditions. The map may not be accurate for all regions due to data availability and data errors.

Winter Outlook

Through the first half of the 2016-17 winter season, western Canada experienced a mix of well below normal and well above normal temperatures, while central Canada was above normal. Generally, since November 1 western Canada, with the exception of southern Manitoba, had received well below normal precipitation. As of December 31, Manitoba had received 150 per cent of normal winter snowfall, the second highest December amount on record. Eastern Canada received near normal precipitation; however areas that experienced very dry conditions during the summer have received very little precipitation.

As of December 31, weak La Niña conditions were present, and a return to neutral conditions is expected in February. The forecast for January through March has a low confidence level due to the absence of clear indicators and disagreements between models. Much of the country is expected to experience an extended warm spell in January. The warmest region is expected to be central Canada with temperatures 10 to 20°C above normal. Arctic air is expected to return in late January, and cooler than normal conditions are expected in February, particularly for Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. The March forecast suggests above normal temperatures for much of the country, with the highest probability in eastern Canada. By the end of the winter season, agricultural areas are expected to have received above normal precipitation. Based on the winter forecast and spring projections, the risks of excess moisture in the eastern Prairies and dry conditions in Ontario will continue and may have agricultural impacts at the start of the 2017 growing season.

2016 National Dashboard of Agroclimate Risks

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Summary of 2016 agroclimate conditions
Date British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec Atlantic
December 06 1
excess moisture, snow
4
excess moisture, snow
2
excess moisture
2
excess moisture
1 1 1
November 01 1 4
excess moisture, cool temperatures, snow
3
excess moisture, cool temperatures
2
excess moisture
2
low soil moisture
1 2
October 04 1
excess moisture
3
excess moisture
3
excess moisture, frost
2
excess moisture
2
low soil moisture
1
low soil moisture
2
drought, dry
September 20 1
excess moisture
3
excess moisture, cool, frost
3
excess moisture, cool, frost
2
excess moisture
2
drought, low soil moisture
2
low soil moisture
3
drought, dry
September 07 1 3
excess moisture, cool temperatures
2
excess moisture
2
excess moisture
2
low soil moisture
1
low soil moisture
2
dry
August 23 1
dry, heat
2
excess moisture, humidity
2
excess moisture, thunderstorms
2
excess moisture
2
low soil moisture
2
dry
1
dry
August 09 1 2
thunderstorms, hail
2
thunderstorms, excess moisture
2
excess moisture, wind
3
drought, heat
2
heat, drought
2
drought
July 26 1 1 2
excess moisture, thunderstorms
2
excess moisture, wind
2
drought
1
disease
1
July 12 1
dry
1
excess moisture
2
excess moisture, flooding
2
excess moisture
2
drought
1
low soil moisture
1
June 28 2
flooding, dry
1 1 2
excess moisture
2
dry, low soil moisture
1
low soil moisture
1
June 14 1
dry, low snowpack
2
low soil moisture
1 2
excess moisture
1 1 1
May 31 1
dry
2
low soil moisture
1 1 1
dry
2
dry
1
May 17 1
dry
4
drought, wind, wildfire
2
dry, wildfire
1 1 1 1
May 03 1
dry
4
drought, wind, wildfire
2
dry, wildfire
1 1 1 1

Green (1) /Yellow (2) /Orange (3) /Red (4) is a continuum of 'No significant risk' to 'Large or Urgent risk'. Text not in brackets indicates the event was currently occurring at the time of the report; text in brackets highlights a potential risk

On a regular basis throughout the growing season, AAFC monitors and reports on a suite of agroclimate risks to agricultural production. This dashboard is a high-level summary of risks by region across the country, by reporting period. The colours represent the level of overall risk, and the key words highlight the most-significant risks.


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2016 Annual Review of Agroclimate Conditions Across Canada (PDF Version, 1.24 MB)

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