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Rain observers report flooded fields and overworked sump pumps after heavy rains on Friday

Southern Manitoba is waking up to the sound of sump pumps running every few seconds and to a landscape characterized by water-filled ditches and puddles in freshly seeded fields after a heavy rain event hit the region on Friday. “This would be the most significant, widespread rain event the Pembina and Red River Valleys have experienced since late April 2022, when the region experienced several heavy rain events in addition to record-breaking snowfalls, ultimately resulting in flooding across the region,” explained CMOS accredited weather announcer Chris Sumner. “This moisture-filled low pressure system moved quite slowly north from the Dakotas into our area, with rains beginning in the early hours of Friday morning and the majority of precipitation falling by late Friday evening. The fact that the stronger rainbands took a relatively long time to move north resulted in some locations receiving significantly more precipitation than others. Based on Saturday morning's reports and readings, it appears that the Morden, Winkler and RM of Stanley regions experienced the absolute peak of this combination of factors.” Click here for the latest forecast details. On Friday evening, residents of Winkler and Morden were told by town officials to stop using water until at least Saturday morning as both communities' sewer systems were overwhelmed by water intrusion resulting from the heavy rain. Residents were also reminded to make sure their sump pumps were not draining into the sewer system, but rather outside, away from their homes. Rain was not the only precipitation that fell yesterday. Snowfall warnings were issued for parts of Westman Friday afternoon and evening, with some of these areas receiving 2 to 4 inches of snow. “The combination of the higher elevation and the fact that these areas were on the cold side of the low where relatively cooler air was being sucked into the system resulted in this unwelcome visitor,” Sumner noted. “Much of the snow melted on contact, but in some places, including the Boissevain and Killarney areas, quite a lot had accumulated. With temperatures rising today and sunshine expected to return to Westman, this snow won't stick around for long.” The following totals are for the period May 24 through 5:00 a.m. Saturday, May 25, and are provided courtesy of PembinaValleyOnline Rainwatchers, Environment Canada and the Manitoba Ag Weather Network: Reinland – 91 mm (3.64 in) Winkler (south of town) – 86.4 mm (3.45 in) Morden – 82.8 mm (3.3 in) Jordan – 77.3 mm (3 in) Carman – 68.0 mm (2.7 in) Manitou – 66.6 mm Kane – 65.2 mm Pilot Mound – 60.2 mm (2.4 in) Elm Creek – 57.7 mm Gretna – 56.5 mm Clearwater – 55.1 mm Altona – 53.7 mm Morris – 50.4 mm (2 in)Dominion City – 45.1 mm Emerson – 42.6 mm Brandon (Airport) – 32.5 mm rain; 1.8 cm snow Winnipeg (The Forks) – 28.0 mm Steinbach – 27.3 mm Melita – 24.1 mm (nearly 1 inch) 25 mm = 1 inch The system has been over the Manitoba-Ontario border since Saturday morning and continues to move slowly northward, with persistent showers and drizzle expected into the morning hours, but additional accumulation should be minimal. Click here for the latest information on road reports and cancellations. “We are expected to see some sunshine Saturday evening before the remaining cloud cover leaves the area,” Sumner said. “As skies clear and a cooler air mass remains over the region, there will be a risk of frost from Saturday night into Sunday morning. There will be a brief return of high pressure on Sunday, bringing sunshine back to the region and temperatures rising to 15 to 17 degrees. However, another disturbance moving in from the west from Sunday evening into Monday could bring another wave of showers and a few more millimetres of rain.” Looking ahead to the last week of May, he added that a warming trend is emerging in forecast models, with a high pressure system settling over the region around Tuesday and Wednesday. “Right now it looks like it will be mostly sunny on both days and temperatures are slowly returning to seasonal levels,” Sumner said. Averages for this time of the month are 23 degrees as the daytime high and 8 degrees as the nighttime low.