Ottawa

Drought conditions worsen in Ottawa region after driest May in decades

Parts of Ottawa are in the midst of a "moderately severe drought" after a dry April was followed by one of the driest months of May on record.

Only 26.2 mm of rain fell at Ottawa Airport in May, lowest since 1959

There were few clouds on Friday, June 3, in Ottawa. The region has seen only sporadic rain this spring, leading to drought worries. (CBC)

Parts of Ottawa are in the midst of a "moderately severe drought" after a dry April was followed by one of the driest months of May on record.

Environment Canada said just 26.2 mm of precipitation was reported in May at the Ottawa Airport, well below the 80.3 mm average and the lowest recorded since 1959. The record for the driest May at the site was 24.1 mm in 1944.

About 25.7 mm of rain fell in downtown Ottawa in May, the driest since 1988.

In Kemptville, Ont., conditions were even worse. Only 16.5 mm fell at the town's Environment Canada site in May, the lowest ever recorded since measurements began in 1928 and well below the long-term average of 84.8 mm.

The last rainfall of over 5 mm in Kemptville was on May 8.

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority says the lack of rain in the last three months means communities in its watershed are in the midst of a "moderately severe" drought.

In moderately severe drought conditions, small streams are going dry and larger streams are well below normal, the conservation authority says.

Rain may be in the forecast for Ottawa next week beginning Sunday, but the conservation authority warns "it remains to be seen how much and how widely distributed it will be."

"Several days of generalized rain over the whole watershed will be needed to restore water levels to seasonal averages," the group notes.

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