Manitoba is located in the centre of Canada and has four very distinct seasons. We generally experience:
- a large variance in temperature from summer to winter (in fact the greatest in Canada)
- lengthy, frigid winters and brief, warm summers
- minimal but highly variable precipitation totals
- dry winters and summers, with marginally more precipitation in the summer
During the summer months, temperatures typically hover around the low teens at night and in the mid-twenties during the afternoon, however it is not uncommon to have temperatures in the thirties (Celsius).
Winters in Manitoba typically last for six months and are generally frigid, especially in January when our daytime/nighttime temperatures are -14/-25ºC in the southern grain region and -24/-32ºC in the north.
Spring and fall in Manitoba are fairly short and windy seasons. It is not unusual for snowstorms to happen during the spring. As well, spring is also the time of year that brings damaging floods to Manitoba. The areas that are hit the hardest by those floods are along the Red River and the Souris and Assiniboine rivers.
Fall in Manitoba can be a very wet season. The potential for heavy rains and wet snow exists during this time of year. Fortunately though, enduring snow cover typically is not expected until late November.
Overall in Manitoba, snow is not that heavy. The perception that the province receives a lot of snow is because once the snow covers the ground it remains there. Freezing precipitation is a rare occurrence in Manitoba. However, on those occasions when there is freezing precipitation it creates quite a disturbance.
These conditions greatly contribute to our high quality hay production. The short summers with over 17 hours of daylight is perfect for growing and our frosty winters negate the need for chemical applications for storage.