Spring arrived slowly, with cool temperatures and periods of snow into mid-April. Monthly average temperatures were 2-5 C below average for March and April. Overall, spring has been progressing about two weeks behind normal.
With the exception of the southern Prairie, snow melt was slow, with pockets of snow lingering into late April. This spring has also been windy. In late April and early May, temperatures warmed into the mid 20s C, and combined with strong winds increased evaporative losses. In spite of the good snow cover in late winter and early spring, the protracted melt did not result in the runoff anticipated in many areas. The majority of the southern Prairie was snow free by early March. Moisture from March and April snow storms largely evaporated or soaked into the ground.
Habitat conditions are generally fair, with some pockets rated as poor or good. In the northern Prairie, conditions are generally good to very good, which is not as favorable as expected, particularly in the west.
Most wetland projects are full. Precipitation totals since April 1 have been less than 50 percent of normal to near normal in the Prairie.