A little bit of rain never stops a true West Coast resident. (Photo by Lee-Ann Ruttan)

A little bit of rain never stops a true West Coast resident. (Photo by Lee-Ann Ruttan)

January brings 36th wettest year on record for Victoria

A lot of rain fell on Vancouver Island in January. And more is on the way.

Victoria saw it’s 36th wettest January on record since 1899, according to Environment Canada.

Victoria received 117.6 millimetres of rain last month, 125 per cent higher than its average of 94.5.

Last year, Victoria only saw 51.7 mm in January.

It has been a wet year across the Island so far, with Nanaimo having its sixth wettest January on record since 1941, seeing 308 mm of rain fall, 164 per cent higher than its normal 187.9 mm, and Tofino having its eighth wettest January on record, seeing 730 mm of rain, which is 150 per cent higher than its average of 487 mm.

RELATED: More rain on the way, flooding likely

Armel Castellan, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said Tofino saw 250 mm over the course of 36 hours last weekend.

Castellan attributes the extreme amounts of rain to warm air blowing in from the tropics, and meeting with cold air coming from the north.

“When the colder, denser air mixes down and circulates with the warmer air blowing in from the tropics, it can create a lot of moister in the air and become baroclinic, and that’s when the storms start to follow,” said Castellan.

He said the B.C. south coast will often get hit with these mixtures of warm and cold winds because its mid-latitude location between the equator and the North Pole, and added that during the winter, the occurrence of rain storms happen more frequently due to the greater difference in air temperatures coming together.

Over the next week, Environment Canada predicts more rain for the Island, but Castellan said they cannot accurately predict what the full-month of February will be like.

Castellan said this year is expected to be a slightly cooler year than normal, although January was an average of 1.1 degree higher than usual due to the warm winds.

For up to date weather conditions and forecasts from Environment Canada, please go online to weather.gc.ca.

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