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Moisture Update - May 8, 2024


Map 9: Despite very dry conditions across the Peace Region, there is still time to receive moisture for seeded crops as the wet season in this area historically begins around the May long weekend and persists well into August. However, pastures are struggling and will need moisture very soon. If they have not been over-grazed, it is expected that they will respond rapidly to meaningful and timely rains as the weather warms and hopefully turns wetter in the coming days. 

Excess soil moisture is likely building across parts of the Southern Region and local surface depressions are being filled with water, reducing the land's ability to further absorb heavy rains. May and June are the wettest months of the year here and if one or two more major systems bring in excessive rainfall, flooding or soggy fields may become a concern, particularly in poorly drained areas. This is a complete reversal to the problems faced in 2023, and should serve as a reminder that conditions often change rapidly in Alberta. This abrupt reversal is not in any way 'unprecedented' as there are many examples of this in the meteorological record, which can be explored using the many maps, and data products available on the Alberta Climate Information Service. For southern Alberta, 2002 is one recent example where excessive moisture in the summer followed a severe drought, that began in 2000 and peaked in 2001 (Map 9). Similarly, across the Peace Region dry conditions prevailed in 1998 and 1999, with wet weather arriving closely on its heels in 2000.

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