Comox Valley endures 28 days of rain in October

All just water under the bridge. The Comox Valley set a new record in October for most days of rain. - Michael Briones / Echo Staff
All just water under the bridge. The Comox Valley set a new record in October for most days of rain.
— image credit: Michael Briones / Echo Staff

October was one of the wettest months on record in the Comox Valley.

Out of 31 days, the region experienced 28 days of buckets of persistent rainfall last month. The region enjoyed rain-free days from Oct. 9 to 11.

Historically on average, the Comox Valley experiences 16 days of rain in October.

It's unusual, according to Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan, as

traditionally, November is the wettest month in the Comox Valley followed by December and January, which rank second and third respectively.

"October is usually the ramp up but this year it just happened that October looked more like November in terms of how the pattern worked out," said Castellan, who added the 28 days of persistent rain fall now tops the list for the month of October since 1944.

Normally, for the month of October, the average rainfall recorded at the Comox Airport is 123 millimetres and for November it is 192 mm. But the heavy deluge that occurred 28 days out of the 31 days last October, which was highlighted by three rain storms in a row, set a high accumulated mark of 356 mm.

Based on historical records, this latest data ranks as the second most rainfall the valley has ever had for the month of October. The most rain fall the region has ever had was set in 1924 with 437 mm.

"This is a massive difference from normal," Castellan commented. He cited as a reason for the consistent deluge a big trough, which is an entry way for all the low pressure systems to enter the coast without being deflected.

"The Comox Valley was not in the best position because the head of the storm where all the precipitation generally lies, you have the southeast winds which come up the Georgia Strait and really dump, especially with the topography of the way Vancouver Island is shaped, it's kind of right for riding up the slope and further precipitating," Castellan explained. "It's pretty amazing to see 356 mm in the span of just four weeks like that."

As well, last month, the region recorded accumulated rainfall of over 25 mm on more than one occasion. It had six days where rain fell close to or over 25 mm.

"Normally you have one really big storm for October, one that will have those kind of numbers," said Castellan. "If you think about that one day that you're supposed to get, climactically speaking, and you actually got six, that's quite an impressive number."

According to BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson, a new precipitation record was set in the upper Puntledge River watershed for the month of October.

Watson said their precipitation records go back 36 years and the new record is 537 mm or almost 54 cm, breaking the previous record of 506 mm.

As well, it was the second highest total water inflows for the month of October into Comox Lake reservoir. That record goes back 49 years.

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