The long-awaited rain clouds circling southern Saskatchewan are dropping downpours in some areas but barely wetting the ground in others.
Environment Canada recorded a wide range of rainfall totals after early morning thundershowers around the Regina and Moose Jaw area Thursday.
Environment Canada meteorologist John Paul Cragg explained precipitation from these thunderstorms was very localized even within the city of Regina with a range between four and 14 millimetres, or less than half an inch, by mid-morning.
“Just to the southeast of Lumsden there was a report this morning of close to 39 mm of rain and just to the northeast of Lumsden over near Craven there was a report of 22 mm of rain,” Cragg said.
Craik reported 23 mm of rain — just under an inch — while to the north, Strasbourg only got two mm and to the south, Vibank only got one mm.
As scattered thundershowers continue throughout the day, it might come down to luck as to which areas will see enough rain to make a difference.
“If you’re lucky enough to be under a thunderstorm with this particular system then you could receive anywhere between five and 40 mm of rain,” Cragg said.
While these thundershowers might help green up some lawns and gardens in cities and towns, the short-lived downpours still aren’t adding up to enough moisture to help farmers concerned about dry conditions.
“If the clouds do open over top of them they could get quite a bit of rain in a very short period of time, so it’s a bit of feast or famine out there right now,” Cragg commented.
Severe thunderstorm watches are out for the southeastern corner of the province stretching from Kamsack down to Carlyle. Those areas could see up to 50 millimetres of rain — two inches — but there is a potential for hail as well.
“If you receive 50 mm of rain it will do a good job to get back to normal precipitation for the month of May, however for most places they’re in pretty significant deficit right now it’d probably take more than a couple thunderstorms rolling over them to bring them back to average.”
Most of southern and central Saskatchewan can expect anywhere between one and 25 mm of rain which probably won’t make a big difference.
Wildfire still growing in Prince Albert National Park
The Rabbit Creek wildfire burning inside Prince Albert National Park is now more than 29,000 hectares or roughly the size of Saskatoon.
There are now 200 firefighters from five provinces battling the wildfires, with fresh crews coming in from Quebec and the Northwest Territories.
Efforts are focused on protecting the Waskesiu townsite, which so far isn’t in danger.
General Manager at the Waskesiu golf course, Tyler Baker, said right now it is business as usual, but they are taking the situation seriously.
“I’ll use our clubhouse for an example. They just finished putting up a series of sprinklers around the clubhouse roof in that worse case scenario, if the fire does get onto this area,” said Baker.
Baker said they are preparing for a worse case scenario.
“You know, talking with one of our members for a number of years we’ve been coming up here, growing up here, never seen anything like this,” Baker said.
“You do see the fire crews and then talking with crews that put our sprinklers up on the clubhouse and watch them test it out, and, it’s real. It’s not like the movies, but it is real.”