If the first days of 2021 felt unusually wet, that’s because they were.
The first 11 days of the new year in central Vancouver Island have reached nearly monthly precipitation totals.
Lisa Erven, a meteorologist for Environment Canada explained that while November, December and January are generally some of the wettest months of the year for the Comox Valley, it has been “a very, very wet 11 days of the year.”
So far, the Comox weather station has recorded 139 mm of rain since Jan. 1; in January 2020, there were 172 mm recorded in the entire month.
“We’re already at 80 per cent of last year, and it’s not even the middle of the month yet – it is a lot,” added Erven who said within the last two months, there has been a persistent southwesterly pattern over the West Coast which has tapped into mild temperatures.
She described the pattern as “very persistent and active,” which is why there has been a steady stream of storms to start the year, with 24 to 48 hours between systems.
“The models for the next 10 days show an output that doesn’t change very much. It’s a fairly active system with no expected snow – it’s set to continue until around Jan. 20 or 21.”
Erven said the odds are likely with two-thirds of January left, the Valley’s 2020 monthly precipitation record will be broken.
For the last week of the month and into early February, she noted early models indicate there may be a temperature cool down, but added it is difficult to predict the weather far in advance.
“We’re really looking for a well-defined switch in the wind direction in order for it to feel more like winter.”
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