Drought-stricken Prairies in line for month's worth of rain
Friday, May 18, 2018, 6:42 AM - As parts of the Prairies remain starved for moisture, a slow-moving system is supplying the temporary relief fire crews have been waiting for. Some southern regions are in line for a month's worth of rain in a very short period of time however, which could create its own issues if the ground can't absorb this deluge fast enough. More on that below.
- Threat for torrential rains in parts of extreme southern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba through Friday with 30-50+ mm possible locally
- Sunshine and warming trend (back to more summer-like temperatures) during the long weekend with hot conditions returning next week
- Fire danger temporarily diminished, increases again next week
WATCH BELOW: RAIN AND THUNDERSTORM TIMING
FIRE DANGER RATING
Fire danger ratings soared to widespread extreme levels across the Prairies earlier this week, but have significantly dropped with the ongoing rainfall and cooler temperatures. However, this swing in our favour will be temporary as forecasts into next week show conditions returning to very high to extreme in most regions.
Image: Fire Danger Rating on May 18, 2018 from Natural Resources Canada.
Image: Fire Danger Rating forecast on May 25, 2018 from Natural Resources Canada.
(IMPORTANT READ: Residents light paper lanterns in fire-stricken Prairies)
"Every drop of rain should be preserved as sunshine and warmth will arrive for the weekend and build through next week. Temperatures will be pushing the 30°C once again," says Weather Network meteorologist Kevin MacKay.
ACTIVE START TO THE SEASON, WILL IT CONTINUE INTO SUMMER? WITH METEOROLOGIST TYLER HAMILTON
MONTH'S WORTH OF RAIN INBOUND
Locally heavy rainfall will continue Friday across parts of extreme southern Saskatchewan, but especially across southeastern Manitoba and into northwestern Ontario. It's the news fire crews have been desperate for with the combination of high heat and a lack of rain contributing to a challenging wildfire season already. Parts of southern Manitoba, including Winnipeg, had gone over a month without seeing any rain. And now some areas could see over a month’s worth of rainfall in just 24 hours!
There will be a wide range in rain totals as thunderstorms will bring torrential rain in some areas, while other areas are missed.
"Rain finally made an appearance Thursday overnight in Winnipeg and will continue through today with another 10-15mm for the city, while closer to the Ontario and North Dakota border, amounts could reach 50mm by Saturday morning," adds MacKay.
QUICK RETURN TO HIGH HEAT
The return to sunshine and more summer-like temperatures returns likely sooner than most would hope during the long weekend with a hot and dry trend dominating the middle of next week.