Record highs have been set in places like Maple Creek (southwest), where temperatures reached 12 C in late January. In February, temperatures are expected to be above normal, with average daytime temperatures being –5 to 5 C.Despite the dry fall and winter, wetlands conditions could improve. Carry-over water from last summer will help, and although current predictions are calling for little runoff in most areas, this can change quickly on the Prairies.
The lack of snow cover has some producers concerned about winter kill of winter wheat. However, most models show that temperatures have not been cold enough for an extended enough period of time to produce widespread winter kill. The lack of precipitation from the summer and fall has continued. Winter precipitation has been well below normal across southern Manitoba, including in primary breeding areas. Snowpack is minimal and is largely limited to wooded areas and ditches, although it does improve slightly in the northern reaches of the Minnedosa/Shoal Lake pothole region.