Wettest August in a decade snaps dry spell

·1 min read

It may not be enough to end fears of a drought, but all that rain last month definitely helped the situation.

Weather forecasters at the Southeast Fire Centre say after a six-month-long spell of below-average precipitation, a “significant shift” in the large-scale weather pattern saw about ten waves of moisture reach the area in August.

In total, those systems brought a monthly total of almost 86 millimetres of rain, nearly three times more than the monthly average of 30.4 millimetres.

“There were twice as many days with thunderstorms as are normally reported during the month,” says Jesse Ellis. “This was not the wettest August on record, but it was the wettest of at least the last 10 years.”

This was also the first month since January with above-average precipitation. However, as August is usually the driest month of the year, the total amount is still far short of the rain needed to eliminate the overall moisture shortfall of 200 millimetres since March 1.

The rain even broke a few daily records. The heaviest rain came with thundershowers on the 8th with a new daily record of 29 millimetres (in Castlegar). That doesn’t break the all-time record for the most rain in one day for the month of August, which is 42.9 millimetres.

However, “some nearby areas may have exceeded this value since there were reports of highly variable amounts over relatively short distances that day,” says the SEFC weather summary.

While the morning of August 24 broke a daily minimum record, with temperatures hitting a chilly +5.8°C, the mean monthly temperature was slightly above normal, even with the cool, rainy days.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

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