In 72 hours, up to 72 millimetres of rain drenched southern Alberta as an upper trough pushed across the province heading into the May long weekend.
Snow fell in higher terrain regions like Cypress Hills and the southwestern foothills, with 2-4 centimetres accumulating on grassy surfaces on Saturday morning.
After a dry April, the moisture was much-needed as gardeners get ready to plant and farmers finish up seeding across the province.
Moisture needed as drought continues
According to the Canadian Drought Monitor, parts of southern Alberta has been dealing with poor soil moisture for the past two years, which is a significant concern for feed and surface water supply.
Abnormally dry conditions continued to worsen throughout March and April because of below average precipitation.
However, the spring snowstorm that blanketed southern Alberta with 10-20 centimetres of snow in late April did help improve conditions for regions in the southeast.
72 hour rainfall totals
Below are the 72 hour rainfall totals recorded by Environment Canada as of 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 18.
- Beaver Mines: 72 mm
- Stavely: 54 mm
- Pekisko: 50 mm
- Pincher Creek: 48 mm
- Waterton Park Gate: 48 mm
- Brocket: 47 mm
- Ardenville: 42 mm
- Carway: 37 mm
- Claresholm: 34 mm
- Cardston: 32 mm
- Fort Macleod: 31 mm
- Azure: 30 mm
- Onefour: 29 mm
- Foremost: 28 mm
- Blood Tribe: 26 mm
- Pakowki Lake: 25 mm
- Black Diamond: 25 mm
- Crowsnest: 24 mm
- Masinasin: 24 mm
- Warner: 24 mm
- Barnwell: 23 mm
- Priddis: 23 mm
- Del Bonita: 22 mm
- Wrentham: 21 mm
- Calgary (Olympic Park): 20 mm
- Fincastle: 20 mm
Unfortunately, skies cleared Saturday night and a cooler air mass moved in, lowering overnight temperatures to around the freezing mark.
Environment Canada issued a frost advisory for central and southern Alberta, including the City of Calgary, at around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and similar conditions are expected Sunday night.
Although frost isn’t uncommon this time of year, it can damage crops and frost-sensitive plants and trees.
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