Mother Nature is making up for lost time — rain is finally here but it may be over the top.
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement about a slow-moving low pressure system that will bring a swath of moderate to heavy rain and strong wind in parts of Central Alberta.
The alert applies to Red Deer, Ponoka, Innisfail and Stettler.
Current projections, as of about 10 a.m. on Thursday, are that somewhere between 40 and 60 mm of rain will fall over the region tonight and Friday, with locally higher amounts possible.
However, some uncertainty exists in both the rainfall amounts and the exact location of the rain swath. In addition to the rain, strong northerly winds, perhaps gusting as high as 80 km/h, are likely. Winds and rain will abate on Friday afternoon or evening.
As the rainfall event nears and uncertainty in location and amounts decreases, it is likely that rainfall warnings will be required for some portions of Central Alberta.
Rainfall warnings are issued in the summer when non-thunderstorm rainfall is expected to exceed 50 mm in 24 hours or less, or 75 mm in 48 hours or less.
The public is advised to monitor future forecasts and warnings as warnings may be required or extended. Environment Canada’s latest forecasts and warnings can be monitored at www.weather.gc.ca.
The Strathmore radar station that covers the area was not working on Thursday morning. Environment Canada has generated a composite image, as a contingency product, based on data from neighbouring radar sites (including U.S. radars for some cases).