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Heavy Rain for BC Interior & Alberta Foothills

Laurissa Anyas-Weiss, content producer

July 6, 2009 — After weeks of drought conditions in BC and Alberta heavy rain is on the way beginning Monday and continuing through to Wednesday with 150mm of rain possible for the hardest hit areas.

The question remains, will this rain be enough to end the forest fires in BC and save this season's crops in Alberta?

Parts of Alberta have reported the driest June for almost 50 years and some farming communities have already declared a state of emergency with others on the verge of writing off the season. In BC, forest fires have been fanned by the hot, dry weather and fed by lightning strikes from thunderstorms.

The unsettled weather does not look to be ending any time soon with more thunderstorms forecast for Monday afternoon and evening. There is the risk of severe thunderstorms with damaging hail and funnel clouds for some areas in BC and Alberta. Unlike the past few weeks when thunderstorms did not carry enough rain to help reduce drought conditions, these storms are bringing heavy rain.

The heaviest rainfall areas of the BC Interior and the Alberta foothills could receive over 100mm of rain before the system moves out on Wednesday. Totals could reach closer to 150mm of rain locally. The hardest drought ridden areas of Alberta will receive a substantial amount of rain but it remains to be seen whether this year's crops can be saved.

For the BC Interior, this rain comes as a welcome reprieve from the hot, dry weather the area has been experiencing. The lack of rain has increased the fire risk significantly. Temperatures are expected to drop to below seasonal normal norms further reducing the fire risk.

The sudden deluge of rain will likely cause localized flooding throughout the area and rainfall warnings are in effect for BC and Alberta.

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