Precipitation levels continue to remain low in the Peace

Water levels at the Kiskatinaw River were at historic lows in 2013.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Well another cold low has quickly come and gone through the Peace Region, resulting in an almost wintry like Mother’s Day, but doing very little, to ward off long range drought driven concerns.

While it assisted firefighters in addressing the current wildfire challenges, north of city, it did not produce the 10 to 15 millimeters of precipitation, which some of last week’s national weather forecasts were predicting, proving once again the merit of a long respected forecaster’s adage.

That’s Environment Canada’s Lisa Caldwell who on Friday opted for a more modest forecast.

It turns out she did error on the side of caution as the airport weather station posted 0.2 centimeters of snow, but 8.6 millimeters of rain, and the month-to-date precipitation total went to 9.1 millimeters, as 0.3 millimeters of rain were also recorded on Saturday.

That total represents nearly a quarter of the May average, of 37.9 millimeters, but problem is the seven day forecast is predicting it won’t change through next Sunday, and it marks nearly the halfway point of the month.

So all signs at the moment point to this very likely being the eleventh month out of the last thirteen with below average precipitation, but as Lisa has also reminded us, in this area, even the end of May, does not signal the end of the period, for a slow moving, game changing, moisture laden, cold low.

Just how common, is illustrated by the fact, that in the past 13 years, the local airport station has posted six different single day precipitation totals in June, of 30 millimeters or more, topped by 57 on the 25th of the month, in 2011.

Now to illustrate what a relief one of those June days could be, if it occurred next month, as things now stand March is the only one of the last seven months, in which a total of 25 millimeters or more has been recorded.  To find a day when the airport station posted at least ten millimeters of precipitation you have to go all the way back to 10.6 on the 12th of last September.