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Moisture Update - May 20, 2024


Map 1: Since the last report, Alberta was subjected to another widespread precipitation event. This time, the moisture was concentrated in the north, with a large area in and around Fort McMurray receiving well over 40 mm of rain (Map 1). The highest amounts were recorded at the Piccadilly Auto Station at 138.6 mm and Britch Mountain Auto at 118.2mm, both located northwest of Fort McMurray. Additionally most, but not all, of the Peace Region received its first meaningful moisture in months, with totals ranging from 20 to 50 mm. However, the western portions of the Peace Region still have some dry areas, with several stations recording less than 15 mm in recent days.

Elsewhere the North East Region and eastern portions of the Central Region, received upwards of 20-30 mm, ranging as low as 10-15 mm in a few isolated pockets. Further moisture was recorded throughout much of the foothills and mountain areas across the south-half of the province, with totals ranging from 20 to 50 mm. White Rabbit Creek Station, located south-west of Nordegg, hitting the 70 mm mark.


Map 6: The entire province in now entering the wet season, with rainfall totals historically peaking across the south in June, and across the North West and Peace Regions, in July (Map 6). Historically Southern Alberta is particularly vulnerable to overland flooding during June, and most of these events are preceded by overly wet conditions that take time to saturate the land and reduce surface storage capacity. We appear to be 'priming' the land in some areas and vigilance, with an eye-to-the-sky, would be wise. However, a short spell of warm and dry weather would help mitigate this risk. Please note that this is not a prediction for flooding, it is only a reminder to be watchful and prepared in the days and weeks ahead.

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