It should come as no surprise to anyone who has spent the summer in Smithers, the amount of rainfall the town had shattered the previous record.
In 1976, 162mm of rain fell between June 1 and Aug. 31. This year, Smithers had already surpassed that by Aug. 16. when 12mm of rain on that Sunday put the summer total at 173.5mm.
Since then Environment Canada (EC) has recorded an additional 65.7mm — including a two-day total of 52.7mm on Aug. 20 and 21. That puts the summer total at 239.2mm, a whopping 77.2 mm (or 48 per cent) more than the previous high water mark and fully double the normal rainfall of 119mm.
In a previous interview with The Interior News, EC senior climatologist Dave Phillips blamed the wet and unusually cool summer on persistent Gulf of Alaska trough systems. On a normal year, he explained, Northwest B.C. can expect to see these troughs as early as May and sometimes as late as July, but usually in June and not so consistently through the summer.
Temperature data for the end of August also confirmed that 2020 has been the second coolest summer since weather data for Smithers started to be kept in 1942.
Phillips explained the critical data point on the temperature side of the equation is the mean daily high, that point of the day when most people are getting off work or getting out of school and want to engage in outdoor activities.
For this summer, the mean daily high was 18.7C, a full two degrees cooler than the 30-year normal of 20.8, but one degree warmer than the previous record of 17.7 (also 1976).