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.


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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.

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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.


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The Canadian Drought Monitor is Canada’s official source for the monitoring and reporting of drought in Canada.

Cody Coates/Global News

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
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Frosty aftermath

Unfortunately, skies cleared Saturday night and a cooler air mass moved in, lowering overnight temperatures to around the freezing mark.

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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.


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Spring frost expected across central, southern Alberta May long weekend

A frost advisory was in place for central and southern Alberta on Saturday.

Global News

Although frost isn’t uncommon this time of year, it can damage crops and frost-sensitive plants and trees.

To stay updated with radar and weather alerts in your area, download the Global News Skytracker weather app for iPhone, iPad or Android.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


72 hours of steady rain soaks southern Alberta

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