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Cooler conditions predicted in Prince Rupert following a dry summer

Weak La Niña predicted for winter
Very weak La Niña conditions are predicted for affect the north west coast this winter. (File photo)

As summer in Prince Rupert comes to an end, possible cooler than average temperatures are predicted for the approaching winter, weather data suggests.

Last year, Prince Rupert saw a downpour of 799 mm of rainfall during the summer season — about double the average rainfall for the city.

This summer, Prince Rupert saw an above average precipitation for June and and exceptionally dry July, Lisa Erven, a meteorologist for Environment Canada, said.

June received 166 per cent of average rainfall for the month, making it the city’s eight wettest June on record, Erven said. However, she added that the numbers can be deceiving.

“Even though June was wetter than normal, most of the precipitation actually fell within the first week, or really, the first five or so days,” Erven said. “Then we entered a dry stretch. So, relatively speaking, the area received very little precipitation for most of June and July.”

Currently, August is sitting at 112 per cent of normal precipitation with rain in the forecast to finish out the month.

Looking forward to the rest of the year, Prince Rupert may see a colder than average winter.

The latest forecast data, produced Aug. 12, say that there is a possible La Niña emerging that may bring cooler than normal temperatures throughout the winter.

However, data suggest that it will be a “rather weak’ La Niña, Erven said.

“When we enter La Niña winters, what it does is weigh the odds in favour of cooler than normal conditions,” she said.

What that means is lower elevation areas, especially for coastal areas, may see an increased chance of seeing freezing conditions and even snowfall, Erven said. However, precipitation patterns are not as predictable and accurate as temperature predictions, she added.

Erven said that for the remainder of the season you can expect average conditions for the region well into autumn.