British Columbia’s South Coast is starting to dry out after its first atmospheric river of the season, and it appears the soaking has helped ease drought concerns.
The torrent of rain that fell between Tuesday and Thursday delivered staggering precipitation totals in some areas.
Kennedy Lake on the west coast of Vancouver Island recorded a whopping 267 mm of rain, while Port Mellon in Howe Sound recorded 148 mm and West Vancouver recorded 110 mm.
B.C.’s South Coast gets hit with season’s first atmospheric river
Atmospheric rivers are a particular type of rain storm produced by narrow bands of concentrated water vapour in the sky that transport moisture distances of up to 1,000 kilometres. They are normal in British Columbia, but can arrive with different intensities, and sometimes be destructive, as the province witnessed in the fall of 2021.
This week’s event was classified as two in intensity on a scale of one to five by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, explained Global BC senior meteorologist Kristi Gordon.
“This one ended up being classified as an AR2: mostly beneficial,” she said.
“There were some hazards. We had rise in the river level and things, we had a flood watch in effect for part of the day yesterday for the west coast that now has ended, but we still have high streamflow advisories for parts of the South Coast, the Thompson and the Columbia.”
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The heavy rain helped drop the drought rating on the west coast of Vancouver Island to Level 1, while the rating on the remainder of the South Coast fell to Level 2.
The Columbia, Thompson and Okanagan Basin regions also saw their drought rating fall to Level 2.
Gordon said the forecast calls for things to further dry out Friday with sunny patches across the South Coast.
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