Warm, dry conditions continue into April for southern Saskatchewan
REGINA -- April temperatures have been well above seasonal to start the month and these warm temperatures have been paired with sunny skies, low humidity and a dash of wind. Can you see where I’m going with this? Fire weather! Yes, cue the menacing music.
It was a beautiful Easter weekend in Regina with temperatures soaring over 20 degrees. And, these beautiful conditions continue through the first full week of April with double-digit temperatures likely most days in Regina, paired once again with sunny skies. To put this warm spell into context our average high temperature this time of year is 7.4 degrees Celsius.
So, these temperatures are above seasonal, but most of us aren’t complaining.
Now, as much as I’m happy to wave goodbye to winter, and say hello to summer… it would be great to get some rain in southern Saskatchewan. And there is little on the way over the next week or so.
We truly need some April showers this month to help curb some of the fire weather conditions that look to ramp up this week. As with most years, fire weather and fire conditions are something that we will keep an eye on going through spring, summer and into the fall through the prairies.
The best conditions for fires are obviously warm and dry. But to give you an accurate fire weather index you need to look at the drought conditions, wind and fuel sources, in addition to the weather conditions that include the relative humidity, temperature and precipitation.
Through the last few weeks, the drought index has been between -2 and -2.99 on the Palmer Drought Index in the southeast corner of the province. This means moderate drought conditions as determined from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. These drought help with increasing fire weather conditions, particularly when paired with more warm air and winds.
Areas that are concerning heading through the week look to be around Estevan, Coronach, Kindersley, Rosetown and Outlook to name a few. As well as the region stretching from Cypress Hills to Grasslands National Parks.
So, let’s hope for some April showers, to not only bring May flowers but a little bit of a break from the dry conditions out there.
Either way though, now that warm conditions are seemingly settling in, we need to remember to be fire safe out there. That means being aware of your ATV usage, particularly in brush and dry grass, putting out your fires when outside or camping (it’s almost that season) and not discarding cigarettes or other flammable material incorrectly.