It's been a dry winter in the southwest, and looks like it'll continue to be one.

The RM of Frontier issued an uncommon January fire ban after their council meeting earlier this week.

Environment Canada Meteorologist Terri Lang said after a decent amount of moisture in the fall, the Swift Current Airport only had 9.5 millimetres of precipitation in December compared to the usual 15.8, and in January there's been nothing, while the usual amount is 13.3 millimetres.

"Already running a deficit almost halfway through January," said Lang. "It has been dry. When you look in and around Swift Current there's no snow cover. Temperatures have been mild and it's been quite windy, so any moisture that's been had is sort of getting swept away."

Lang said the chinook winds coming in from the west are to blame for drying up some of that small amount of moisture.

Overall it doesn't look like the weather in the near future will be conducive to making the southwest wet again.

Lang said the overall winter forecast for warmer, drier weather due to a building el nino has held true.

"In the shorter term it looks like it's going to get mild again for the weekend. In the longer term, sort of towards next week, it's getting quite cold - not just cold, but quite cold. One of those arctic outbreaks. And when we get those we don't get a lot of moisture with them. So so far nothing big coming in the forecast down the line."

The duration of the RM of Frontier's fire ban depends on how much moisture comes. It would need to be a considerable amount - not just to lift the ban, but also so 2019 can be a productive year on the fields.

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