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November rainfall broke records in several B.C. communities

·2 min read
A road is pictured underwater in the Sumas Prairie flood zone in Abbotsford, B.C., on Tuesday. The city had its wettest November ever, with 541 millimetres of rain. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
A road is pictured underwater in the Sumas Prairie flood zone in Abbotsford, B.C., on Tuesday. The city had its wettest November ever, with 541 millimetres of rain. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

A number of communities in B.C. broke or came very close to breaking monthly rainfall records in November, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).

The agency confirmed Wednesday that Abbotsford, B.C., had its wettest November ever, with 541 millimetres — or more than half a metre — of rain. The old record was set in 2006, with 422 millimetres.

"[It's a] huge departure from the previous record going back many, many years," said Armel Castellan, a warning-preparedness meteorologist with ECCC.

The average amount of rain for Abbotsford in November is around 245 millimetres, meaning the city saw more than double its normal monthly total.

Four more cities saw well over their normal amount of rain for the month, including:

  • Vancouver — 312 millimetres (Normal average: 189 millimetres).

  • Downtown Victoria — 316 millimetres (Normal average: 153 millimetres).

  • Nanaimo — 359 millimetres (Normal average: 197 millimetres).

  • Hope — 730 millimetres (Normal average: 344).

The rainfall wasn't quite enough to break monthly records but came close for Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo.

These communities also broke records for the rainiest fall season, from September to November.

  • Vancouver — 612 millimetres. (Normal seasonal average: 364 millimetres).

  • Victoria — 510 millimetres. (Normal seasonal average: 230 millimetres).

  • Nanaimo — 620 millimetres. (Normal seasonal average: 342 millimetres).

  • Abbotsford — 885 millimetres. (Normal seasonal average: 475 millimetres).

Castellan said the agency is still crunching numbers to confirm more records that might have been broken. He said the storm from Nov. 13 to 15 was enough to break a number of daily records on its own.

"Without question, this has been a very active [rainy] streak since mid-September on the heels of an extremely dry and hot summer," Castellan said during a news conference on Wednesday.

"So, we have gone from some extremes to other extremes and, unfortunately, this is consistent with what climate change has been projected for all parts of Canada.

"It's not to say that it's always going to be this extreme all the time. We will see lulls, of course, but the frequency, the amplitude of these events ... will continue to increase with the coming years and decades."

Squamish, Pitt Meadows and Tofino also all saw more than 300 millimetres of rain, according to CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe.

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