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Extreme rainfall, temperatures in July were ‘a big deal,’ says West Kootenay weather forecaster

Rainfall in July was .8 mm; normal is 48.1 mm
Several record temperatures and precipitation far below normal were seen in the West Kootenay in July. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

A monthly climate report from the province shows record-breaking temperature and rainfall numbers at the Castlegar airport weather station for June and July.

Temperatures of 43.9 C on June 30 and 41.8 C on July 1 set records for both months.

Three additional maximum daily temperature records were set on July 10, 11, and 19, according to Jesse Ellis, fire weather forecaster at the Southeast Fire Centre in Castlegar. Even more records might have been set in July were it not for wildfire smoke, he said.

Overnight lows were also above normal for July, the lowest being 11 C on July 24.

“So it’s not just the top end that was affected,” Ellis said. “We’re also pulling it up from the bottom.”

The mean temperature for July was 24.7 C, also a record, up from the normal mean of 20.2 C. Four daily maximum mean temperatures were also record-setting in July.

July was the sixth consecutive month with below-normal precipitation. Total precipitation for the month was .8 mm, all received on July 7.

The normal amount of rain for July is 48.1 mm.

“Being six months in a row below average precipitation, that is a big deal,” Ellis said.

“And we’ve seen two months in a row where we’ve broken the all-time maximum temperature that we we had ever seen during that month. That’s a big deal, too.”

In Lytton, B.C., on June 28, temperatures reached 49.6 degrees, a Canadian all-time high.

The BC Coroner Services has reported that during the period June 20 to July 29 there were 539 heat-related deaths in B.C., a 300 per cent increase over previous years.

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Bill Metcalfe

About the Author: Bill Metcalfe

I have lived in Nelson since 1994 and worked as a reporter at the Nelson Star since 2015.
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