After weather bombs and seven atmospheric rivers in a month farm animals died by the hundreds of thousands in British Columbia floods

After weather bombs, seven atmospheric rivers in a month and a tornado farm animals died by the hundreds of thousands in British Columbia floods
After weather bombs, seven atmospheric rivers in a month and a tornado farm animals died by the hundreds of thousands in British Columbia floods

November was a fairly extraordinary month in several respects. Vancouver saw weather bombs, seven atmospheric rivers in a month and a tornado, among other things. And along with all of that came the rain.

The City of Vancouver, pelted with near-constant rain for three months, smashed its record for rainiest fall on record (which meteorologically speaking runs from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30) says Environment Canada warning preparedness meteorologist Armel Castellan.

Over September, October and November 611.5 mm of rain fell here. That breaks the old record of 531.9 mm in 1996, smashing it by almost 80 mm; in meteorological terms, that’s a lot. And records go back over 120 years.

On average we see 364.4 mm, so this year we got 168% of the usual.

But it wasn’t the most, with Abbotsford getting an “astounding” 884.5 mm over the three months; the average there is 475 mm.

The previous wettest fall for Abbotsford was 2016 and was only 666 mm, so you overshot that in Abbotsford by over 200 mm which is absolutely jaw-dropping,” says Castellan.

And in Victoria, where the total wasn’t as high, the difference from the usual was massive; at the Victoria Gonzales station they had 509.6 mm, compared to the normal of 230.1 mm. That’s 221% of the normal.

Everyone will remember the atmospheric river storm that dropped over 250 mm of rain on areas like Hope and the Coquihalla between Nov. 13 and 15. It’s likely the most financially impactful weather event in the nation’s history, and happened just months after the deadliest weather event in Canada (the mid-summer heat dome).

And that was followed by back-to-back-to-back significant atmospheric rivers, each dropping up to 100 mm on areas.

Things could have been worse, though. Multiple weather bombs swept along the Pacific Northwest. One massive luckily didn’t hit Vancouver, but changed directions instead of continuing west.

It is hard to say they got lucky, that it could have been worse, but it easily could have been.

Hundreds of thousands of dead farm animals

Hundreds of thousands of livestock have perished in floodwaters in Canada’s westernmost province, the British Columbia government said Thursday.

Back-to-back deluges from atmospheric rivers have damaged major transport routes, forced evacuations and briefly isolated Canada’s biggest port. The agricultural region of Sumas Prairie, near the nation’s third-largest city, Vancouver, is one of the hardest hit flood zones.

So far, 628,000 poultry have been reported dead, as well as 420 dairy cattle and roughly 12,000 hogs. Additionally, 110 bee hives were submerged. More than 800 farms remain under evacuation orders, Lana Popham, the province’s minister of agriculture, food and fisheries, told reporters on Thursday.

The work by farmers and volunteers and companies to clean out barns and remove those animals continues to be extremely heartbreaking,” Popham said.

Sumas Prairie is also home to around 700 acres of blueberry farms, many of which have been under 8 feet (2.4 meters) of water. The full extent of the damage to the blueberry crop probably won’t be known for months. [Yahoo, VancouverIsAwesome]

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