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Typhoon’s remains reached West Kootenay in September

·2 min read

A moderately wet September did little to address the water deficit behind the nine-month-long West Kootenay drought, says a weather forecaster with the Southeast Fire Centre.

“September we had pretty close to normal precipitation amounts,” says Jesse Ellis. “So if we hadn’t made up the deficit by August, and September we had only 3% more than normal, then we should still be in that moisture deficit.

“We got more than average, but the amount did not make up for the dryness in the spring.”

Ellis says alternating ridges and troughs moved through the region last month, keeping temperatures moderate and dropping a little more rain than normal on the area.

“The mean monthly temperature was 0.5 degrees above average,” he told the Valley Voice. “The total monthly rainfall of 43.8 millimetres was very close to normal, only 1.4 millimetres more than the monthly average.”

The average September has eight days of rain; this year we had 11.

One unusual event was the region was touched by a typhoon - or at least, the remnants of one - from September 17-19.

Typhoon Chanthu was a powerful Category 5 typhoon when it hit the Philippines, before clipping the Japanese coast and Taiwan. As it moved east and north, it weakened and dissipated - but a few arms of moisture from the giant spiral storm hit BC.

“It was really cool for us to watch it, we were tracking it from before it hit the Philippines,” says Ellis. “It’s neat to pick up the potential for significant rain with 10 days’ lead time. There’s not many events in my line of work where we see that kind of thing that far into the future.”

While Chanthu’s storms weren’t enough to address the water shortage - the region is still short 200 millimetres of precipitation since March 1 – there’s indications the fall may help ease the situation somewhat.

“The guidance is pointing towards near-seasonal temperatures, but leaning towards higher likelihood of greater rainfall,” he says. “But I wouldn’t call this a wet fall pattern.”

Instead, he says we’ll likely see new weather systems coming through the area every three days or so, with temperatures near or below normal.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

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