The month of Might is generally when the phrase “flood” begins creeping into the minds of these in southern Alberta, however this spring, the phrase “drought” can be on the radar.
Metropolis of Lethbridge emergency preparedness supervisor Luke Palmer mentioned he has one eye on the province’s snowpack and the opposite on below-average water ranges within the area.
“We do our greatest to make it possible for we’re utilizing the instruments supplied by the province. We’re monitoring flooding circumstances by way of the river and what’s coming from the mountains but additionally what drought prospects may exist as properly,” Palmer mentioned Monday.
“Once we discuss flooding, we clearly have to speak about drought as a result of it’s the opposite finish of the spectrum for certain. Identical to we monitor the circumstances within the mountains and within the river, we monitor drought circumstances too, and that’s by way of what our water retention ponds have by way of out there water for issues like preventing fires and simply normal residing within the metropolis.”
World Information climate knowledge illustrates simply how dry this spring has been to this point in southern Alberta.
Final month, Lethbridge noticed simply 19.2 mm of precipitation, wanting the April common of 28 mm. The primary 17 days of Might have introduced solely 2.3 mm of rain, in comparison with the month-to-month common of 49.9 mm.
The area has some moisture within the upcoming forecast — rain that Palmer says can be welcome.
“If these drought circumstances do proceed, it’s actually laborious on the financial system,” he mentioned. “Particularly right here within the south as a result of we’re so agriculturally pushed.”
Monitoring knowledge from Alberta Rivers had the depth of the Oldman River at simply 0.351 metres on Monday afternoon, however Palmer says the expectation is that might enhance quickly as hotter temperatures stick round.
“Anybody driving by goes to see numerous uncovered shoreline and simply not an entire lot of water depth there,” he mentioned.
“However we do know that a few of that snowpack is taking its time to soften, so we’re beneath common proper now, however as soon as temperatures begin choosing up within the mountain areas, we are going to begin seeing that river going up extra.”
Palmer mentioned no matter approach issues find yourself this spring, each the town and province will problem notifications and warnings when essential to maintain residents updated.
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