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Wet, not so hot, Rupert summer

Environment Canada meteorologist offers historical insights on soggy weather
More rain in the forecast for the rest of the month. (Pixabay photo)

There has been a lot of rain this summer, residents of Prince Rupert don’t need a meteorologist to tell them that, but has the rainiest city in Canada broken any records?

Data recorded at the weather station near the airport reveals that it rained 26.9 mm on Monday, Aug. 21 and 34.4 mm on Tuesday, Aug. 22 — which were both the rainiest of those dates recorded since 2010.

But Alyssa Charbonneau, meteorologist with Environment Canada says their data goes back to 1908, and Prince Rupert has seen a lot more rain on those days.

The record set for Aug. 21 is 46 mm of rain in 1981, and 1948 still holds the record for the rainiest Aug. 22 when 51.6 mm of water fell from the sky. The normal average rainfall for August on the North Coast is 169.1 mm, Charbonneau said, and up until Aug. 24 there was 139 mm.

“But the forecast for the rest of the month looks like we’ll exceed our normal for the month of August,” she said. “There’s lots of rain still in the forecast.”

The region experienced a wetter than normal July with 140.9 mm this year, exceeding the normal average of 118.7 mm. June had 95 mm of rain, below the normal range of 108.7 mm, however, Charbonneau pointed out that they are missing some data, due to being held up for quality control, or there could be a problem with instrumentation so all the records for this year are preliminary.

Prince Rupert has an average 236 days of rain a year — totalling 2,530 mm — but not every year is quite so wet. Last summer saw a lot more sun and less rain: June had 102.1 mm, July only had 59.8 mm and August had 53.6 mm.

“Much dryer than normal. When you have a dry year the next year can feel abnormal,” Charbonneau said.