Little relief from rain on horizon

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Wet weather isn’t letting up across the province anytime soon. Experts say Manitobans should expect more rain this month.

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Wet weather isn’t letting up across the province anytime soon. Experts say Manitobans should expect more rain this month.

A band of heavy precipitation continues along a path through the southwest corner of the province, and a low pressure system in northwest North Dakota is also bringing rain to southern Manitoba.

A number of areas have seen heavy rain over the last 24 hours, mostly in rural areas — Sanford reported around 74 millimetres of rain, Cypress River reported 45 millimetres of rain, and at Lake Winnipeg, around 27 millimetres of rain fell.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES A wetter-than-average summer could heighten the risk of flooding at lakes across the province.

“It’s that time of year where we’re going to get low pressure systems trundling through the area every two, three, four, five days,” Environment and Climate Change Canada warning preparedness meteorologist Natalie Hasell said Monday. “It’s really hard to go a very long period without precipitation in a quasi-normal summer.”

While the systems are normal, the amount of rain the province has seen since April is not. A report from the province’s hydrologic forecast centre notes flooding on the Red River this spring was the fourth-largest in recorded history. Moisture that remains in southern Manitoba soils can fuel more storms in July, Hasell explained.

“It’s going to be a busy July, most likely … in terms of showers and thunderstorms,” she said. “It would surprise me if we didn’t see quite a bit of that, considering how wet the area is. And if we just keep getting these systems going through and these conditions line up, there’s nothing to stop these thunderstorms from becoming significant.”

A wetter-than-average summer could heighten the risk of flooding at lakes across the province.

“Most major Manitoba lakes (with the exception of Lake St. Martin and Lake Winnipegosis) continue to be above normal levels or flood stages,” a hydrologic forecast centre’s summer conditions report, dated June 28, stated.

“With the exception of Lake Winnipeg, which will continue to rise until late June, most lakes have either peaked or are near peak. The risk of lake flooding continues to remain high as heavy winds in the summer could cause lake levels to rise significantly.”

It also could spell more trouble for farmers, Hasell said, and the possibility of further increases to the cost of locally-grown food.

“Farmers in a lot of places, I would assume across southern Manitoba, are having a hard time seeding, having a hard time putting their crops in,” she said. “That will affect everyone.”

malak.abas@freepress.mb.ca

Malak Abas

Malak Abas
Reporter

Malak Abas is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.

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