October was really, really, really rainy

Nothing hides your post-midterm, I-think-I-failed tears better than some good old fashioned rain. Vancouver had your back — all month long.

The number of rainy days in October is normally around 15. This past month, we saw the new record high for Vancouver — 28 days of rain — breaking the previous record of 26 days set in 1967 and matched in 1985. While it was only the 10th wettest October on record — based on the amount of rainfall — it was still a notably wet October.

Atmospheric science PhD student David Siuta explains that this increased amount of rain is due to amplified low-pressure systems called troughs and areas of high pressure called ridges.

“Because we just had such persistent troughing in the Eastern Pacific, it allowed for frequent systems to move over British Columbia,” said Siuta.

Troughs tend to move northeast — off the Pacific and into western North America — bringing the rain straight to Vancouver, whereas ridges typically ensue calmer, drier and warmer conditions.

Siuta points out that perhaps the most significant records being broken last month were in the interior of BC in places like Castlegar — which were 430 per cent above average amount of rainfall. The interior sees less rainfall than Vancouver because the precipitation doesn’t make it over the coastal mountains. Although this number seems extremely large, they still saw less rain than Vancouver did.

Looking forward, November is generally more wet than October and while there is no evident reason to believe it will dry out any time soon, this week started off with a less gloomy record-high for temperature in November, with 19.4ºC on November 8.

If, like me, you’re wondering if any of this is a repercussion of altered weather patterns due to climate change, it’s too soon to say.