Rain watchers report flooded fields and overloaded sump pumps after heavy rains Friday –


In southern Manitoba, people wake up every few seconds to the sound of running sewage pumps, and the landscape is marked by water-filled ditches and puddles in freshly seeded fields after heavy rains 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 snowfall, 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 caused some locations to see significantly more precipitation than others. Based on Saturday morning's reports and readings, it appears that the Morden, Winkler and RM of Stanley region experienced the absolute peak of this combination of factors.”

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On Friday evening, residents of Winkler and Morden were asked by city authorities to stop using water until at least Saturday morning because both communities' sewer systems were overwhelmed by the influx of water from the heavy rain. Residents were also reminded to make sure their sewage pumps were not discharging into the sewer system, but rather outside, away from their homes.

Rain wasn't the only precipitation that fell yesterday. Snowfall warnings were issued for parts of Westman Friday afternoon and evening. Between 2 and 4 inches of snow are expected in some of these areas.

“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, a fair amount of it was piled up. With temperatures rising today and sunshine expected to return to Westman, this snow won't stick around for long.”

Snowfall in a backyardThis photo shows the 2 to 4 inches of snow that fell in the Killarney area on Friday. Submitted by Betty Sawatzky.

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 inches)
Winkler (south of town) – 86.4 mm (3.45 inches)
Morden – 82.8 mm (3.3 inches)
Jordan – 77.3 mm (3 inches)
Carman – 68.0 mm (2.7 inches)
Manitou – 66.6mm
Pilot hill – 60.2 mm (2.4 inches)
Elm Creek – 57.7mm
Gretna – 56.5mm
Clear water – 55.1 mm
Altona – 53.7 mm
Morris – 50.4mm (2 inches)
Dominion City – 45.1mm
Brandon (Airport) – 32.5 mm of rain; 1.8 cm of snow
Winnipeg (The Forks) – 28.0 mm
Melita – 24.1 mm (almost 1 inch)
25mm = 1 inch

As of Saturday morning, the centre of the system was over the Manitoba-Ontario border and continues to move slowly northward. Showers and drizzle are expected to persist into the morning hours, but additional accumulation should be minimal.

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“We expect to see some sunshine Saturday night 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 Saturday night into Sunday morning. On Sunday, we will see a brief return of surface high pressure, which will help bring sunshine back to the region and also warm temperatures to 15 to 17 degrees. However, another disturbance moving in from the west Sunday night into Monday could bring another wave of showers and a few more millimeters of rain.”

Looking ahead to the last week of May, he added that forecast models are showing a warming trend, with a high pressure area settling over the region on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Right now it looks like it will be mostly sunny both days and temperatures will slowly recover to seasonal levels,” Sumner said.

The average temperatures for this time of month are 23 degrees during the day and 8 degrees at night.