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Flood risk for Calgary low despite rainy forecast: officials

Downtown Calgary with the Centre Street Bridge and Bow River in the foreground at Calgary, Alberta on June 10, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougal. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougal

After unusually warm weather over the Victoria Day weekend, most of the prairies are expecting a significant change that has some people wondering if southern Alberta will experience any flooding.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement Monday, warning of rain in excess of 75 mm in some areas, up to 10 cm of snow in others, paired with strong wind through most of Alberta and the interior of British Columbia.

READ MORE: ‘Abrupt change in the weather’ looming for Alberta: wind warnings issued by Environment Canada

That advisory was amended Tuesday afternoon, with forecasters targeting the regions likely to see the strongest winds. The weather pattern showed heavy rain could also hit parts of Saskatchewan.

Environment Canada meteorologist Kurt Torneby said Tuesday that Calgary is currently on the edge of one of the drier parts of the province, meaning the flood risk is low.

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That is not to suggest this has been a dry start to 2017, but more that the bulk of the moisture has evaporated or melted.

According to Environment Canada’s website, Calgary has had an extra 63 mm of precipitation from Oct. 1, 2016 to May 22, 2017, compared to climate normals for the same period of time.

READ MORE: Calgarians told to be on alert as flood season starts

Torneby said April 2017 was the 12th wettest on record.

Bernard Trevor, the manager of the River Forecast Centre for the Province of Alberta, said that extra moisture in the mountains is not raising flood risk concerns either.

Trevor told Global News the snow pack is melting at a normal rate for this time of year.

The latest models show the city of Calgary is likely to see between 10 to 20 mm of rain with this system, but the city of Calgary and the province don’t think the rainfall will impact water levels significantly.

Trevor said Tuesday that water levels in the region are at a high to normal rate right now, but as of 6 p.m. there were no stream flow advisories issued.

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Both the city of Calgary and the province told Global News they are continuing to monitor this weather situation and will issue any advisories as necessary.

For an update on water levels and flood advisories go to rivers.alberta.ca.

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