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Prairies: Heavy rain floods parts of Alberta, renewed weekend risk

Friday, June 21st 2019, 3:45 pm - Heavy rain drenches southern Alberta, sparks flooding

Summer has officially arrived and with it comes flooding rains for parts of the Prairies. This slow-moving weather-maker has prompted rainfall warnings for Calgary and surrounding areas, with as much as 100 mm expected to fall before all is said and done. We break down the timing and who stands to see the most, with look at the continuing unsettled pattern well into next week, below.

Summer revealed! Visit our Complete Guide to Summer 2019 for an in-depth look at the Summer Forecast, tips to plan for it and much more


WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rain for most of Alberta and much of Saskatchewan through Friday
  • Heavy rain with flooding potential for some, particularly near foothills
  • Thunderstorm risk for Alberta, Saskatchewan Friday and Saturday
  • Stay up-to-date on the ALERTS in your area

WATCH BELOW: TIMING FRIDAY'S RAIN AND THUNDERSTORMS

FLOOD THREAT AMID HEAVY DOWNPOURS

A slow-moving system sinking down into the northern Plains has been the major weather story for western Canada this week, and it's not quite done with the region yet.

Several low pressure centres spinning up around this large-scale upper-level feature have brought rounds of heavy rain to the western Prairies. That's something not entirely unwelcome after many very dry months, but too much, too soon for some areas where flash flooding has been an issue.

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Significant rain has already fallen over much of west-central Alberta and more is on the way through the day Friday, with an additional 30-50 mm expected for some.

A localized rain band also remained semi-stationary just northwest of Calgary early Friday, with some areas seeing 50+ mm fall. A rainfall warning is now in effect for the city with as much as 80 mm possible through the day's end. As much as 100 mm is possible for the Bow Valley region.

"Ditches were filling with water where a band of rain stalled through the overnight," said The Weather Network's Kyle Brittain who was reporting from the QE2 north of Calgary Friday morning. "I suspect it may have lead to a vehicle spinning out of control and ending up in the ditch in Carstairs."

Localized flooding was also reported in Cochrane Friday morning, likely because of drainage issues amid the heavy rain.

The rainfall warning comes after the Calgary Fire Department urged people on Thursday to stay off the Bow and Elbow rivers because of a high streamflow advisory issued by the province.

Embedded thunderstorms across central Alberta and Saskatchewan will also help to enhance rain totals through the day Friday.

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Further north, where the rain this week has been lighter, the chance for lightning-sparked wildfires rears its head again on Friday, with the risk for some stronger storms dipping as far south as Edmonton.

"Unlike the foothills where thunderstorms track mainly west to east, storms will likely have a northeast to southwest storm track with this round on Friday," says meteorologist Kelly Sonnenburg, adding that more heavy rain, strong winds and hail would be the main threat with these storm.

RENEWED RAIN INTO SASKATCHEWAN THROUGH THE WEEKEND

The pattern that's driven this wet, stormy spell across the western Prairies will shift slightly going into the weekend, but that doesn't mean the rain is over for everyone. A new low pressure centre moving north from the U.S. will bring renewed rain to Saskatchewan on Saturday and Sunday.

SEE ALSO: Arctic island prepares to become world's first 'time-free' zone

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WATCH BELOW: WHO CLAIMS THE TITLE FOR MOST SUNLIGHT THIS SUMMER SOLSTICE?

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