Alberta hasn't had much rain this year.
It's not a drought -- CBC Edmonton seemed confused that nobody wanted to officially call it a drought, which is weird since they do understand that like "blizzard" a drought is a very specific set of circumstances that haven't been met -- but it is pretty dry.
There have been sporadic rainstorms -- on Sunday it poured in much of Edmonton, sprinkled elsewhere -- but no real major rainstorms for a while. Fortunately, Thursday July 16th opened up with a nice city-wide rainstorm that looked to reduce the dry conditions at least in the Edmonton area.
Which instantly made me think of my greatest weather prediction ever.
You see, 2001-2002 was a horrible drought in Western Canada, possibly going head-to-head with the "dust bowl" era of the 1930s. [of course, we didn't have the CCF/NDP in power in 2002, so the economy didn't collapse like it did in the 30's and might next year... -ed]. Agricultural production dropped $2B in 2002, the GDP full by $5.8B, and Alberta had a zero net farm income. It was bad. From January 1st 2002 to May 17 2002, only 0.2mm of precipitation accumulated in Edmonton.† We got a minor reprieve in May: from May 18th through May 20th Edmonton received 2.8mm of rain, and 25mm between May 20th and July 17th, so things had improved a bit. Still, it was dry. Very very dry, and not all of the city received these rainfalls either. It was like the Sunday July 12 2015 rain, really: the airport got it, other parts of the city not so lucky.
† All figures are courtesy of the Weather Network's historical database and are for the Edmonton Municipal Airport.
It was during the late May dry spell where I told people I knew when the real rain would come. To give away the ending of the story, I nailed it. Yes, to the day I told coworkers when it would rain. The date I picked was July 18, 2002.
From June 30th to July 13th there was 0mm of rain in Edmonton. 1mm fell on July 14, but as of July 17th 2002 only a single millimetre of rain had fallen in the entire month of July. The next day was the first day of Klondike Days‡. In the evening of Thursday July 18th the festival would begin.
So would the rain. On the night of July 18th it began to pour (historical rainfall data is unavailable for the 18th). July 19th received 14mm in a single day: it rained 6mm in all of May 2002, 21mm for all of June. Another 10mm fell on the 26th of July. Over the ten days of Klondike Days Edmonton received 26mm of rain plus whatever fell on the Thursday: my memory guesses at least another 10mm for a total of around 36mm, could easily be a total 50mm. Only 28mm of precipitation had accumulated in all of 2002 before the festival began.
‡ Klondike Days changed its name to Capital Ex in 2006, before being changed again to K-Days in 2013. Whatever you do, don't ask Edmontonians questions about this bit.
It always rains during Klondike Days. No matter how bad the drought gets, Klondike Days will see rainfall. Edmonton is expected to get 15mm of rain on Thursday, 3mm on Sunday, 4 on Monday, another 5 on Wednesday, and a whopping 40mm on Tuesday.
If Alberta wants to cure the province of crippling droughts, the solution is clear:
Bonus Klondike Days trivia: The Edmonton Falun Gong 2004 website hilariously keeps calling the event "Klondike Day". Because asians can't pluralize things.