As bad as this spring has been over the Red River valley, it's been even worse to our west. Southwest Manitoba and Southeast SK have bore the brunt of several major rain systems that have tracked across the Northern Plains states over the past 4 to 5 weeks. The result has been some amazing rainfall totals over SW Manitoba that have caused numerous problems with record high water levels on lakes and rivers, and a virtual wipeout of any crop this year for area farmers. Tuesday saw another 25 to 50 mm of rain across much of Southwest MB with the heaviest swath from the Virden area to Minnedosa where up to 55 mm was recorded. This is on top of at least 3 other major rain storms in the past 4 weeks that have brought 100-150 mm of rain over the area into the Interlake regions. In Souris, another 25 mm of rain fell yesterday bringing the total since May 1st to a whopping 216 mm, about 300% of normal.
Other rainfall totals since May 1st include.. (data from MB Ag-wx network)
Minnedosa............ 190 mm
Hamiota ............... 187 mm
Virden .................. 181 mm
Pierson ................. 175 mm
Brandon ............... 157 mm
A persistent storm track across the northern plains has resulted in a very wet start to the growing season over much of the southern Prairies, especially over southeast SK and southwest MB where over 200 mm of rain has fallen since April 1st (see map image left). In sharp contrast, things are very dry by the time you get over the central and northern Prairies with precipitation less than 40% of normal over central and northern Alberta (image right). (Maps courtesy of Drought Watch)