June not only brought heat but rain too

After thunderstorms and brief periods of rain the last two days of June, precipitation was actually more than normal.

All we’ve been hearing about, and living with lately, is how June has been so dry and hot.

Intense heat broke six daily highs by month end and Warfield/Trail held the province high, 41.1 C, on June 28.

But looking back at the first three days of the month, the region was doused in heavy rain.

After thunderstorms and brief periods of rain the last two days of June, precipitation was actually more than normal, according to the local weatherman.

A slow moving Pacific system produced significant thundershowers beginning the night of June 1 and continued through to the night of June 3 producing 77 per cent of the month’s total, explained Ron Lakeman from the Castlegar weather office.

During the 60-hour period, 61.5 millimetres (mm)fell, he said. That occurrence was followed by a light mid-month sprinkle and an intense band of thundershowers with damaging winds on June 29, upping the precipitation total to 80.2 mm compared to the usual 72.3 mm.

Even with rainfall 11 per cent higher than usual, the Southeast Fire Centre banned camp fires effective today in efforts to prevent human-caused wildfires.

Fanny Bernard, the centre’s fire information, said lightning strikes the evening of June 30 sparked six local spot fires though no structures are threatened.

Four-man initial attack crews were dispatched to the small fires by Tuesday afternoon.

“There was rain,” she said. “But not enough to lower the fire danger rating.”

The rating remains extreme, meaning forest fuels are very dry and the fire risk is very serious. New fires will start easily, spread rapidly, and challenge fire suppression efforts.

Currently, the centre has listed one wildfire of note near Westbridge, 11 kilometres north of Rock Creek that has so far, engulfed 26 hectares.

The big news for the last three weeks of June, of course, was the dry climate and sweltering heat.

“Summer began early this year as an upper ridge of high pressure centred south of the International Border dominated for unseasonably warm/hot and dry conditions,” Lakeman said.

Record daily maximum temperatures of 35.1 C, 33.3 C, 32.9, 36.7 C, 39.7 and 38.3 C, were set from June 8 to June 10 and June 26 to June 28 respectively.

“The 39.7 degree reading on the 27th is the new record maximum for June,” he added. “The previous was 37.9 degrees on June 29, 2008.”

The mean monthly temperature of 20.3 C is a new record maximum for June, breaking the previous 19.8 C set 23 years ago.

More hot days in the mid to high 30s are forecast for the weekend followed by a chance of showers on Monday.