GFM Network News


U.S. grains: Soybeans up on trade optimism, Midwest weather

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. soybean futures climbed to their highest level in nearly three months on Wednesday before paring gains, supported by optimism about increased Chinese purchases and fears that a winter storm in the upper U.S. Midwest could threaten late-maturing crops. Corn closed modestly lower and wheat was little changed, with both commodities […] Read more

U.S. livestock: Hog futures mixed after hitting three-month high

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. lean hog futures were mixed on Wednesday, with the front-month contract easing on profit-taking after rallying to a three-month high while deferred contracts rose on expectations of tight supplies, traders said. Live cattle contracts were firm following two straight days of declines with concerns about a massive U.S. storm system […] Read more


U.S. grains: Wheat falls on profit-taking

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. wheat futures eased 1.2 per cent on Wednesday, setting back on a mild round of profit taking after prices posted their biggest rally since last summer on Tuesday. Corn and soybeans ended higher after weakening overnight and early in the day session as traders moved to cover short positions amid […] Read more

This map shows the total amount of precipitation that has fallen across the Prairies so far this agricultural year (which runs from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31) compared to historical amounts. Most regions have seen near-average amounts of precipitation, with only a few small pockets in south-central Alberta and Manitoba receiving below average. Wet areas were found along the northern edges and in southeastern Saskatchewan.

Why Alberta gets more than its fair share of hail

The number or size of thunderstorms is less important than how close the freezing layer is to the ground

It’s time to continue our series of articles on different types of severe summer weather. I like to re-examine these topics every year or two due to the importance of understanding the different types of severe weather, and also because most people find this aspect of weather so fascinating. In this issue we are going to […] Read more


Thunderstorms are powerful events in their own right, but Mother Nature has the ability to add things to the mix to make them even worse.

Mother Nature’s recipe for making very severe thunderstorms

There are some key ingredients that (usually) are 
needed to create a truly wicked summer storm

As the heat continues to build across the Prairies, the chances for thunderstorms have also increased. We began our look at thunderstorm fundamentals that lead to garden-variety thunderstorms. But while these types of thunderstorms are fun to watch, we all know how quickly they can turn into severe thunderstorms. A couple of weeks ago we […] Read more

U.S. livestock: CME live cattle settle mixed, hogs firmer

Chicago | Reuters — Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle April futures on Friday drew support from late-week cash price strength, while profit-taking weighed on the June contract, said traders. Short-covering and technical buying underpinned deep-deferred trading months, they said. April live cattle closed 1.325 cents/lb. higher at 117.075 cents (all figures US$). June ended down […] Read more


This map shows the total amount of precipitation that has fallen across the Prairies so far this growing season (April 1 to Aug. 27). You can see just how dry it has been this year across the southern and central Prairies. A large part of this region has seen less than 250 millimetres over this five-month period, with large parts of Saskatchewan and southwestern Alberta seeing less than 200 millimetres. The only ‘wet’ area is in northwestern Saskatchewan and 
north-central Alberta where precipitation amounts are in the 400- to 500-millimetre range.

There are extreme rains, and then the deluge caused by Harvey

Some parts of Texas received more rain in 24 hours than 
Prairie centres have seen in their wettest-ever month


As fairly quiet weather continues across the Prairies, the big weather story recently has been Hurricane Harvey, which came ashore in Texas late on Aug. 26. Harvey rapidly strengthened in the 12-hour period leading up to landfall and came ashore as a borderline Category 4 hurricane, with top winds of 210 kilometres per hour. It wasn’t […] Read more

This map shows the total amount of precipitation that has fallen across the Prairies so far this growing season compared to historical values. It continues to be a dry start to the growing season across nearly 
all of Manitoba and much of Saskatchewan, with wide areas reporting values that are very low to extremely low. 


Diving a little deeper into summer weather and tornadoes

Tornadoes are nearly impossible to study but we do know a lot 
about the mechanics of how they form

In this instalment, we’ll continue our look at severe thunderstorms, and specifically, the most deadly part — tornadoes. While eastern parts of the Prairies have only seen a few isolated severe thunderstorms, parts of Saskatchewan and Alberta have already seen their fair share. I think most Canadians were more than impressed, and maybe a little bit […] Read more


This map shows the amount of precipitation compared to average that fell across the Prairies over the 30-day period ending on May 25. It continues to be a tale of east versus west, with most of Alberta reporting average to above-average amounts, while in Manitoba amounts have been well below average. In Saskatchewan, southern and eastern regions have been dry while northern sections have been wet.

Tornado season is upon us — here’s what to watch for

The area between the storm and cloud, clouds with bags hanging from them, and the wind are keys in spotting the danger

So far in our look at severe summer weather, and in particular thunderstorms, we have looked at how thunderstorms form, how they can grow into severe thunderstorms, and finally, how hail is produced. Next up on the severe thunderstorm list is tornadoes! Before we begin our look at tornadoes though, I think we have to […] Read more

This time I thought I'd take a break from precipitation maps. These temperature graphs for Red Deer (chosen because it is the most central location in Alberta) show the daily maximum and minimum temperatures along with the departure from average for the last 365 days (ending on May 13). Looking at the pattern in the centre graph, it will be interesting to see what the next month might hold in store for Alberta. Will we continue to see a shorter and less pronounced warm spell? Or will we see a rebound since the last below-average period was less intense than the previous ones?

Cooking up thunderstorms with Mother Nature

Severe thunderstorms are a fascinating phenomena and you need 
the right conditions to come together

Thunderstorm season isn’t too far off so we’ll continue our annual look at what is arguably one of the most fascinating weather phenomena we see in our part of the world. I always like to begin our look at thunderstorms by touching upon one of my biggest weather pet peeves, which is when people mix […] Read more