Spotty rain touches dry Canada province

Fri Jul 3, 2009 3:34pm EDT
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SASKATOON, Saskatchewan (Reuters) - Most of the drought-stricken Western Canadian province of Alberta received a sprinkling of rain between Thursday evening and Friday morning, but patches of the region got as much as 30 millimeters (1.2 inches).

Within a 100-km (62-mile) radius of Edmonton, the provincial capital, spotty rainfall ranging widely between 5 and 30 mm (0.2 and 1.2 inches), said Ralph Wright, soil moisture specialist with the Alberta government.

But other dry areas received little rainfall, with the southern city of Calgary getting just 2 to 3 mm (0.08 to 0.12 inches), Grande Prairie collecting less than 2 mm and Red Deer receiving 4 to 6 mm (0.16 to 0.24 inches).

"What we need is a system to park over Alberta and drop moisture for four to five days," Wright said.

However, relief may be on the way. Two U.S.-based meteorologists say the Prairies are in for a wetter month, with average to above-average precipitation [ID:nN02452400].

Environment Canada is forecasting rain for most of the next week across most of central Alberta.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel; editing by Rob Wilson)