Terri Lang, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), said that while it might feel like Moose Jaw has been flooded recently, this spring is a relatively normal one — the first in a few years. 

“The past couple of seasons have been very dry, they’ve gotten warm very quickly — very atypical,” Lang explained. “For us to get periods of rain and then it gets nice and then maybe we get some snow thrown in there, and then it gets nice and then it rains...” 

“Again, that’s more of a typical spring — we just haven’t had typical springs for the past couple of years, so I think that’s why people (think the rain) is ‘crazy’. It’s not, this is actually what’s supposed to be happening.” 

Lang did concede that Moose Jaw got a lot of rain this week. Averaged over 30 years, rainfall in May is 44.7mm, plus an average May snowfall of 2.9mm, for a total precipitation average of about 48mm. 

Moose Jaw received 33mm across May 6 and 7. 

“So, we’re obviously over halfway past the ‘average rainfall’, but that’s a 30-year average,” she said. “You can imagine that includes May months that would have anything from no rain recorded at all, to a whole bunch of rain recorded. 

"If I go back to 1903, the month of May had 175.9mm — that’s one of the numbers that jumps out right away as being pretty darn high. ... In 2019, 3.5mm, so you can see the range is positively huge when it comes to precipitation.” 

There are also caveats around measurement, Lang added. She takes her own measurements, and there is a network of contributors. That’s in addition to the stations themselves, which take spot recordings.  

With weather being what it is, that means recordings could be off on gusty days, or when a heavy shower drops on your house while missing your neighbours only a few blocks away. 

Do you want to contribute to local weather data? 

Lang said there are ways to be part of the weather network and contribute to making the data ever-more-accurate. 

“Probably your number one thing would be to join CoCoRaHS. Once you sign up, you are given the tools that you need to measure rain and snowfall, and then you would put it in every day and that’s something that does contribute, because we look at it and it gets (added) to our models.” 

‘CoCoRaHS’ is Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network. The network celebrated 25 years in 2023 and has more than 26,000 active observers across the US and Canada. 

“Some people buy their own Personal Weather Stations, and that would be on Weather Underground. So, you would buy a Personal Weather Station, set it up, connect it to the internet, and then things are automatically recorded,” Lang explained. “That’s another way to contribute. 

“As well, you can get yourself a rain gauge and post stuff on (the social media network formerly known as) Twitter under #skstorm, but you have to be specific about when the measurement was, so some people do midnight to midnight, or 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and the units that you’re using.” 

Up-to-date weather info and the most accurate forecasts possible are always available on the ECCC website at weather.gc.ca/city/pages/sk-24_metric_e.html.