Widespread, heavy rain to soak southern Alberta one year after devastating floods
Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 11:50 AM - The timing is eerie. It's been one year since flooding rains devastated much of southern Alberta, and now the region is dealing with another serious rainfall event.
LIVE COVERAGE: On Tuesday The Weather Network cameras will be in Calgary to provide live coverage of the active weather. Reporter Deb Matejicka will provide updated information starting at 7 a.m. local
"A slow moving system with a prolonged period of upslope flow against the Foothills in Alberta will lead to heavy rain with the threat for localized flooding across southern Alberta, especially in the Pincher Creek area," says Weather Network meteorologist Doug Gillham. "Current indications are that the heaviest rain will fall Tuesday afternoon/evening and then diminish late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning."
Rainfall amounts of 60-100 mm are expected through Wednesday with up to 160 mm possible in the Pincher Creek and Cardston regions.
"The largest rainfall accumulation in the Kananaskis and Okotoks regions will be in the southern sections of those regions while the largest accumulation in the Brooks region will occur in the southwestern sections," adds Environment Canada in a rainfall warning issued early Tuesday. "Development of the system will continue to be monitored and warnings may be expanded further northward into the Medicine Hat region if needed."
Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible and residents are being urged to watch for possible washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts.
"One of the keys to the flood potential is whether the rain is relatively evenly distributed across the time period or whether convection enhances rainfall rates for a couple of hours over localized areas," says Gillham.
The Government of Alberta issued a Flood Watch on Monday warning that "stream levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bank full."
"Once you get into triple-digit rainfall forecasts over a three-day period, localized flooding becomes a real possibility," says Brett Soderholm, another meteorologist at The Weather Network. "That said, Alberta has learned a lot since the 2013 floods and has contingency plans in place."
We don't want to issue any dire predictions about this being a repeat of last year for AB but folks in flood-prone areas should be alert.— The Weather Network (@weathernetwork) June 17, 2014
Thirty-two states of emergency were declared across the province starting on June 19, 2013, as the flows of three major rivers rose to almost 10 times their normal rates.
Four people were confirmed dead and over 100,000 people were displaced across the province.
It is considered the costliest disaster in Canadian history with an estimated $5 billion in damage.
"It is worth noting that this year, the heavy rains will be farther south than last year, although there is still some overlap," says Gillham. "The 2013 floods impacted the Calgary area, but this year the storm is expected to be south of the city."
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