Blame it on the Gulf of Mexico.
A low-pressure area that brought torrential rains to the Shuswap had sucked up precipitation from southern U.S., says Environment Canada warning preparedness meteorologist Doug Lundquist.
“The storm is coming at the normal time of the year, but two to three times what you’d normally get in a storm,” he said last Thursday, noting the Shuswap as a whole received a month’s worth of rain or more. “This is likely because it tapped into moisture from Texas and the Gulf of Mexico.”
Salmon Arm received 29.8 mm of rain on Wednesday, June 19 blowing the 20.8 mm record posted on the same day in 1997 out of the water.
A station in Enderby recorded 73 mm of rain in 24 hours from Wednesday to Thursday morning, while a station in Salmon Arm recorded 43 mm in the same period.
“It’s certainly significant, I know we’re gonna be way over at the end of the month,” Lundquist said, noting normal precipitation in Salmon Arm is 63 mm for the entire month of June. “The band (of low pressure) got stuck for a long time over the area, then the storms from Alberta moved back over B.C. and were particularly hard-hitting in the North Okanagan and Shuswap.”
Looking on the bright side, Lundquist said the rains have soaked the forest as another fire season begins, and noted it would have been worse had the storm arrived during the snow melt.
And, though Environment Canada was forecasting several more days of rain last Thursday, Lundquist said it would be more normal for the time of year.
“The storm is at the tail end,” he said, noting weather patterns would soon be shifting into drier summer patterns. “We usually get out of the woods between the first and 10th of July.”