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Home News Environment Canada expects dry conditions to continue, but rain and possibly snow in long-term forecast

Environment Canada expects dry conditions to continue, but rain and possibly snow in long-term forecast

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Environment Canada expects dry conditions to continue, but rain and possibly snow in long-term forecast
An aerial view of the Bell fire near Hudson Bay. Photo submitted.

Environment Canada says rain and possibly a few flakes of snow are on the way for areas of East-Central Saskatchewan most affected by wildfires, but it’s too soon to tell how much.

Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Sara Hoffman say models show a large storm moving north from the United States and into Canada. The majority of that storm will hit Manitoba, but rain and snow could fall in parts of Eastern Saskatchewan.

“Some models are having no part of Saskatchewan affected by this upcoming system, and other model have a great big part of Saskatchewan affected,” Hoffman explained during an interview on Friday.

“Because there’s so much variability in this upcoming system, I would encourage people to keep an eye on the long-range forecast, and pay attention to what’s coming up.”

Hoffman said the rain and snow likely won’t arrive until Thursday at the earliest. Residents and wildfire crews can expect the dry weather to continue into Sunday at least.

Smoke clouds will continue to hover over northern Saskatchewan. Hoffman expects to see winds continuing to blow from the south, which will push plumes of smoke into Pelican Narrows and the north.

Some smoke will still be present in areas west and south of the fires burning in East Central Saskatchewan

“There are very serious fires, and they are producing lots of smoke,” Hoffman said. “We are expecting the wind to come and keep the thickest of that smoke moving north with the flow.”

By Sunday, Environment Canada expects the smoke to move northeast. Beyond that, Hoffman said it’s difficult to predict whether air quality conditions will improve.

“So much depends on how the fires behave, what kind of atmosphere and stability there is, and all these things,” she explained.

The air quality index remained at high risk throughout Friday in Prince Albert. That’s expected to drop to moderate risk on Saturday.

Special air quality alerts remain in place for several northern and east central communities. An Environment Canada alert for Friday said both air quality and visibility deteriorated as the evening went on in La Ronge and South End due to wind pushing smoke further north.

Warnings were also in effect for Prince Albert, Nipawin, Melfort, Tisdale, and the surrounding areas. The alert said areas close to the East Central Fires could expect poor air quality in the coming days.