Intense rainfall Tuesday evening lefts parts of Winkler underwater for a period of time last night with streets in low lying areas flooded, and water creeping up boulevards in some spots. Areas of downtown looked like a lake as the rain pounded the community between 7 and 8 p.m. The heavy rainfall and flooding prompted the City to ask residents to stay off streets until the water subsided.
PembinaValleyOnline Rainwatcher reports indicated up to 100mm, or 4 inches, of rain fell within an hour inside Winkler city limits.
"This area of precipitation was associated with a cold front that was moving through the region yesterday," explained CMOS Accredited Weathercaster Chris Sumner. "Right around the supper hour you could feel the humidity start to drop, as well as the temperature. That was all ahead of the arrival of the area of precipitation which was relatively slow moving, and based on RADAR imagery, hovered over the Winkler area for an extended period of time. A rainfall rate of 100mm per hour is a tremendous figure, and with that intensity, it's not surprising municipal drainage systems had a difficult time keeping up."
The downpour stranded many motorists in the deep water on lower elevation streets throughout the city, and that kept the Winkler Fire Department busy. Chief Richard Paetzold said they began helping stranded motorists shortly after the storm began. In this type of situation, Paetzold encourages motorists to stay off roads until the water recedes. That not only helps the people already out assisting those needing help, but he also noted in some cases, the water was so deep, the waves created by big trucks driving through were washing up onto homes and garages.
According to the Department's Facebook page, they responded to about a half dozen flooding and storm related calls.
The following totals are for August 23rd and are courtesy PembinaValleyOnline Rainwatchers, the Manitoba Ag Weather Network and Environment Canada.
Winkler (south of end city, second reading) - 112.5mm (4.5 inches)
Winkler (south end of city) - 100mm (4 inches)
Winkler (south of city - 67.6mm (2.7 inches)
Morden (two miles south) - 62.5mm (2.5 inches)
Morden (north on Evergreen Drive) - 60mm (2.4 inches)
Gretna - 58.9mm (around 2.4 inches)
Morden - 46.3mm (almost 1.9 inches)
Plum Coulee - 37.5mm (1.5 inches)
Pilot Mound - 35.1mm
Somerset - 35mm - (1.4 inches)
Morris/North of Horndean - 32.9mm (about 1.3 inches)
Altona (west side of town) - 26mm (just over 1 inch)
Gardenton - 20.2mm (7/10th)
Carman - 18.1mm
Woodmore/Gnadenthal - 15mm (6/10th)
Elm Creek - 14.2mm
St. Pierre - 10.7mm
Dominion City - 9.9mm (almost 4/10th)
Emerson - 6.4mm
Steinbach - 5.9mm
Winnipeg (airport) 1.9mm
25mm = 1 inch
According to Sumner, the forecast for the next few days will be drier and sunnier.
"In behind that passing front, high pressure is building in, and that means a return to sunny conditions, but temperatures a few degrees below average for Wednesday, reaching 22 to 24, with 25 to 26 where we should be for this time of year," he said. "It also won't feel as muggy today as it has so far this week, but humid conditions will return by the weekend ahead of another unsettled stretch of weather. A southerly flow returns by Thursday evening, and that will pump warm, moist air into the region, once again. That will be the fuel for another potential round of showers and thunderstorms Friday night into Saturday. A low pressure system impacting the region may provide the trigger to kick off that activity, which at this point, is expected to remain non-severe."
Seasonal to slightly above average daytime highs between 26 and 28 are currently in the forecast Thursday through Saturday.