August brings almost 3 times the average rainfall to West Kootenay, but moisture deficit still remains

After a six-month dry spell, rain finally came in August

After a six-month long spell of below-average precipitation in the West Kootenay, rain finally came in August.

According to Southeast Fire Centre weather forecaster Jesse Ellis, ten different waves of moisture reached the area last month, bringing with them almost three times the amount of rain that usually falls in August at the Castlegar airport weather station.

Almost 86 mm of rain fell in August, well above the average of 30 mm. It was not the wettest August on record, but it was the wettest of at least the last ten years.

There were also twice as many days with thunderstorms as are normally reported during the month.

The last time the area had above-average precipitation was January when 160 mm of rain fell compared to the average of 76 mm. The remaining months of 2021 have had precipitation levels well below average. In July, less than one millimetre of rain fell at the weather station.

Ellis says that August is usually the driest month of the year, so while total rainfall was well above average, the amount in excess of average (55mm) is still significantly less than the cumulative moisture deficit of over 200 mm since March 1.

A new daily rainfall record of 29 mm was set on Aug. 8. The record for the most amount of rain in one day for the month of August is 42.9 mm.

Ellis says some nearby areas may have exceeded this value since there were reports of highly variable amounts over relatively short distances that day.

The mean monthly temperature was slightly above normal despite above-average rain and above-average number of days with rain.

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