October 24, 2020

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Winnipeg gets soaking after prolonged dry spell

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Cadets and police direct Wednesday morning traffic at Confusion Corner, where the lights have been out since 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.</p>

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Cadets and police direct Wednesday morning traffic at Confusion Corner, where the lights have been out since 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/7/2019 (471 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

After a record-setting dry spell, Winnipeg was hit with a deluge of rain Tuesday, with some areas topping 100 millimetres — more precipitation than in the first six months of the year.

"Some places get much higher precipitation numbers," said Natalie Hasell, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Sage Creek and Island Lakes received more than 100 mm, while the Winnipeg airport received 50 mm of rain and The Forks got 71 mm, she said Wednesday. 

Weather watchers were tweeting up a storm Tuesday night. 

"Crazy rainfall totals coming in over parts of Winnipeg," meteorologist Rob Paola tweeted around midnight. He noted unofficial reports of up to 120 mm over the Island Lakes and Sage Creek areas, with 60 mm to 80 mm of rain in the Bridgwater area. At 8 a.m. Wednesday, Paola posted 24-hour rainfall amounts as high as 124.5 mm in St. François Xavier.

While Tuesday's heavy-duty downpour was much needed in the parched prairie city, it created havoc for traffic late in the day, with sections of some streets flooded and traffic lights out of service. The traffic lights at Confusion Corner were out Tuesday night, and into rush hour Wednesday morning. 

Before Tuesday, Winnipeg had recorded its driest first half of a year on record.

In the first six months of 2019, the city had received only 91 mm of precipitation, according to data from meteorology firm Weatherlogics.

That's 15.5-mm lower than the previous bar, set in 1900, when Winnipeg received 106.5 mm of precipitation by the end of June. The three next-driest January-June periods recorded in the city are: 114.4 mm in 1961, 117.2 mm in 1980, and 119.2 mm in 1917.

After a record dry spell, rain is a welcome relief to local farmers, said Scott Kehler, chief scientist at Weatherlogics in Winnipeg.

"The past two years have been quite dry," said Kehler.

He said farmers south of Winnipeg he has spoke to mentioned all the rain they've received over the past three days has seeped into the ground. "This has definitely been a big help to them."

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Legislature reporter

After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.

   Read full biography

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History

Updated on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 12:03 PM CDT: New photo added.

2:52 PM: Writethrough

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