The Weather Network – BC’s ‘stormy’ pattern won’t flip the switch to current drought | Catch My Job


British Columbia’s weather pattern may have moved quickly from mid-summer-like conditions right into the heart of fall and a parade of storms last week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see quick relief from dire drought conditions across the province.

“It’s hard to get out of drought conditions right away,” tweeted Tyler Hamilton, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, “and it often takes several systems to tip the balance toward a traditionally wet pattern.”

Where is the rain from the recent storm parade?

With the focus of the jet stream on the BC coast, a parade of systems from the Pacific began its journey into the province, providing much more fall-like weather and precipitation. But that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone gets significant rainfall.


“The focus of the system shifted the central or northern track more toward the coast, delivering more precipitation to northern communities along the coast and southern Alaska,” explains Kelly Sonnenburg, senior meteorologist at The Weather Network. “As the fronts slide south, the total rainfall decreases.”

Topography and rain shadows also play a significant role in how much rain communities and locations receive.

The difference with the total rainfall so far this month is clearly visible.


  • Juneau Airport – 220 mm
  • Prince Rupert – 134 mm
  • Terrace – 50 mm
  • Bella Bella – 53 mm

In contrast to:

  • Vancouver (IVR) – 1.6 mm
  • Kelovna – 6 mm
  • Victoria – 2 mm
  • Squamish – 2 mm
  • Port Alberni – 4 mm


Now, as we head into late October, the pattern will remain unsettled and look more like fall for the province, with a chance for more measurable rainfall on the south coast.

A slow retreat into a wet pattern isn’t a bad thing either, especially after conditions have been so dry. Storms often travel in packs in BC, and the wettest months of the year are from October to March. How it rains, especially in those initial storms when the ground is driest, but also throughout the rainy season, could tell the difference between beneficial and costly impacts for the region.


RELATED: Wanted: Few ‘gentle’ storms for BC

It also takes a lot more than a few weather systems to end a prolonged drought.

WATCH: A return to normal fall weather, except for part of the south coast

Follow the weather grid for the latest forecast information for BC


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