Is the Fraser Valley becoming a desert?
With only four scarce days of rain in June, and 10 record-breaking days in Chilliwack with temperatures climbing above 30 C, it’s a reasonable question.
The heat wave broke another record on Thursday, July 2 with the mercury hitting a record 34.2 C, which was almost one degree hotter than the 1906 record of 33.3 C.
The total of 8.5 mm made for the hottest and driest month of June in Chilliwack since they started keeping records in 1879, said Roger Pannett, volunteer weather observer for Environment Canada.
It was a “persistent strong ridge of high pressure” for most of the month that did it.
“Unlike the B.C. southern Interior, only a few light showers fell on June 18 and 28 as a couple of upper level disturbances moved north over the province,” Pannett said in his June weather report.
Temperature extremes included the record breaking 34.8 C (25% relative humidity) on June 27 and a minimum temperature of 9.5 C on June 13.
“For the sixth consecutive month abnormally warm record breaking temperatures continued.”
There are 45 high temperature records so far in Chilliwack, “smashing the previous total of 41 recorded in 2014,” he added.
“Summer has started exceptionally hot and dry!”
With rainfall totals 89 per cent below normal, at 8.5 mm, it was the driest June in Chilliwack in over 136 years. The previous driest June was in 1965 with 12.7 mm.
“Presently it appears Chilliwack has become part of the Desert Fraser Valley!”
Compare the total of 8.5 mm of rain in June with Vernon’s total of 52.7 mm or Kamloops’ total of 82.5 mm.