July 20th, 2024

Spring showers bring welcome precipitation

By Lethbridge Herald on May 7, 2024.

Eastbound traffic on Crowsnest Trail makes a splash on a rainy Tuesday afternoon. Some areas of the province were expected to see up to 100 millimetres of rain during the storm that hit the region late Monday evening. Herald photo by Al Beeber

Between 50 and 70 millimetres of rain was forecast to fall on Lethbridge during a spring storm that began late Monday night and continued through Tuesday.

Rain is expected to start tapering off today with a maximum of 10 mm forecast.

The weather yesterday may have felt even more severe thanks to northwest winds of 60 km/h that were gusting up to 90 km/h. 

Residents may be waking up to some white stuff today with snow being forecast to mix in with the rain.

The moisture came after the city received 0.2 millimetres of much-needed moisture on Monday.

The Alberta government River Forecast Centre is monitoring the rainfall expected for south and central-east portions of the province,” said the City of Lethbridge on Tuesday in response to a question about potential flooding.

“At this time, no river related flood advisories are expected to be issued. We also aren’t aware of any current local issues related to overland flooding. Our crews are monitoring the rainfall closely and are ready to respond to any issues that may arise,” said the City.

According to government figures, the greatest amount of precipitation for May 7 as recorded between the years 1938-2007 was 23.1 mm in 1968, with the greatest amount of rainfall being 22 mm in 1993. The most snow on the ground on May 7 was 6.0 cm in 2003. The highest temperature on May 7 was 30.4 C in 1987 which compares to yesterday’s expected  high of 5. The lowest recorded daytime temperature, however, was a chilly -6.1 in 2000.

Warmer spring temperatures will return on Thursday with a high of 17 and sunny skies. The mercury will continue to rise with a high of 23 Friday, 25 Saturday and 27 on Sunday.

The Weather Network said on Tuesday that some areas of the Prairies could see a month’s worth of rain in a mere two days with the highest amounts in southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan. Tuesday’s rain could amount to the largest ever single-day rain event in some places.

Medicine Hat’s 123-year-old daily rainfall record was in jeopardy on Tuesday, said the Weather Network.

The system will see rainfall amounts exceeding the May average in just three days.

The Weather Network said the low pressure system over the region “is quite remarkable for this time of year. Its minimum central pressure is expected to drop near 980 millibars which could set records in this region during the month of May.”

The heaviest rainfall was expected to fall on western grasslands which is fortunate for farmers, said the Weather Network as planting season approaches east of Regina.

But rainfall could lead to flooding in some areas.

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