The October 2017- May 2018 wet season has concluded with well below average cumulative precipitation and record low snow accumulation in much of the country. Furthermore, above-average temperatures prevailed, with an earlier than normal snowmelt process.
Although several significant precipitation events during late spring helped alleviate dryness across the country, late rainfall was not sufficient to mitigate seasonal dryness in many parts of the country, which is most severe in the northwest but also significant across much of the north, northeast, southwest and central provinces. Field reports confirm that area planted for rainfed wheat is less than that of last year due to dry soil conditions and the use of extended areas for grazing, while a significant proportion of planted rainfed areas may have reduced yields due to dryness.
Snowmelt water availability has ended early in most basins, which is likely to adversely impact yields for some areas during the main season, and more broadly for second (dry) season irrigated production.
Forecasts indicate below-average to average precipitation while transitioning from spring to summer season. Along with cumulative precipitation deficits, the below-average forecast is reflective of a low frequency of storms entering the region, increasing the risk for extended periods of dryness that could impact agricultural production.