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Substantial rains to put dent in drought, wildfires in Manitoba, NW Ont.

Friday, August 20th 2021, 8:30 pm - The downpours continue into Saturday, but so does some thunderstorm risk for northwestern Ontario.

After a long dry period, a potent system has arrived in the eastern Prairies, delivering a good soaking for the drought- and wildfire-stricken region. Some areas could receive 50-75 mm, or even higher amounts, by the time it eases. It did, however, bring a storm risk that triggered tornado watches and warnings for northwestern Ontario Friday, and that storm threat builds back in Saturday. More this storm, below.

INTO THE WEEKEND: HELPFUL RAINS FOR THE EASTERN PRAIRIES, SEVERE STORM POTENTIAL

It's been a long time coming, but beneficial rains have started to infiltrate the eastern Prairies and will continue into Saturday.

A stateside low-pressure system moved Friday into Manitoba, bringing the start of some fairly heavy downpours into the province, with heavy rain moving into the province through the morning and into northwestern Ontario in the afternoon, with some thunderstorms sparking here and there.

By the time it's done with the region, the system could bring as much as 50-75 mm of rain by the end of the storm. Some areas could exceed 75 mm, aided by local downpours in thunderstorms.

friprrain

RELATED: Prairie farmers struggle as drought set to rank among worst in Canadian history

The rains will bring significant relief to areas hit hard by the devastating drought that’s developed on the Prairies this summer. Much of southern Manitoba was in an “exceptional drought” as of the July 31, 2021, update of the Canadian Drought Monitor.

In terms of thunderstorms, some risk builds back in Saturday north of Lake Superior, with strong winds a concern, along with a slight tornado risk that should remain north of Highway 17.

BEYOND: COOLER PATTERN EMERGES

The next system will bring another round of widespread rain to southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba Sunday through early Monday, as a low-pressure system tracks from Montana to southern Manitoba and then into northwestern Ontario.

MBTempSun

Another low is expected to develop over Alberta on Sunday and then move east across the Prairies Monday and Tuesday with widespread rain. Additional unsettled weather is possible late week.

Check back for the latest conditions across the eastern Prairies.

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