Unless we get another 2.1 mm of rain by midnight Friday, this will officially be the driest July in Fort St. John in 28 years.
Even if we do get that amount in the final three days of this month, it will still almost certainly be the driest July in 24 years.
Environment Canada is showing this year’s July precipitation total so far at only 19.4 mm. You need to go back to 1981, when we received only 12.9 mm, to find a July when we recorded less than that.
On onlyfour other occasions in that 28-year period have we recorded July totals of less than 42 mm. They are: 21.5 mm in 1985; 38.8 mm in 1990; 26.5 mm in 1991 and 28.4 mm in 1999.
The norm for the 30 year period from 1971 to 2000 was 82.3 mm and for the 7 years since then it is 81.7 mm. Since receiving 123.3 mm in July of 2005, we’ve had three consecutive below-average years.
In fact, including the total for this year, the average for the last three is only 41.1 mm or 50% of the July norm.
It’s little wonder then, that the operative word now in the local farming and ranching community is "Drought".