Ava Hagen jumps for joy into a puddle in Prince Rupert on Sept. 5. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Wettest summer on record in Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert summer rainfall is highest ever recorded

Meteorological records were broken in Prince Rupert during August, with the highest summer rainfall in the city, since 1909 when precipitation data first started to be noted.

Washing out the summer of 1969 when 751.9 mm of rain soaked the city, Prince Rupert received 799.2 mm of rain in the pandemic summer of 2020, from the beginning of June to the end of August.

High amounts of rain, totalling 419.8 mm, during August created ground instability in the region resulting in landslides, road flooding and human safety rescues.

Bobby Sekhon, meteorologist for Environment Canada said it has been an interesting summer in Prince Rupert, with it being the wettest city out of all those tabulated in B.C.

READ MORE: UPDATED: Landslides necessitate rescues east of Prince Rupert

Rain in the amount up to 50 mm could dampen the first part of Labour weekend. Sekhon said starting late in the long weekend, the second and third week of September will bring a slight change to the climate in Prince Rupert and Port Edward.

“We are looking at a ridge of high pressure building which will give a few days of some warm and dry weather to the North Coast of B.C which will be welcomed after such a wet summer.”

The tricky things is, Sekhon said, Prince Rupert hasn’t even entered it’s rainy season which is traditionally October, November and December, but include the fringes of September and January.

“In Prince Rupert we expect 266 mm as a climate normal based on 1981 to 2010 climate averages. You can say typically we tend to get 266 for September and in the summer a lot less,” he said. “But considering how the summer has been , the meteorological wet season still has not arrived.”

The fact that autumn, the regions typical rainy season, has not yet rained down on us is worrisome, Sekhon said.

“This is certainly concerning for the area, having received so much precipitation and what that will mean for the stability of the ground, water levels and those types of things.”

A bit of good news is that you can’t really deduce anything about the upcoming weather from what we have had, Sekhon said. The summer weather is not indicative of the fall.

“With precipitation, we don’t have the ability to forecast it very well outside of a week or two,” he said.

K-J Millar | Journalist 
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