FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Although the official amount of rain recorded was well short of what was predicted, cooler, showery weekend weather put a damper on local harvest activity, and the revised seven day forecast is calling for more of it.
While temperatures in the Southern interior soared again on Saturday into the low to mid-thirties the local airport Environment Canada weather station recorded a high of only 22.2 degrees and also posted 2.2 millimetres of rain on Saturday, followed by a high of only 14.3 degrees and 2.7 millimetres of rain on Sunday, lifting the month-to-date total to 31.2.
Still with ten days left in the month, the airport station is now on a pace, which would fail to match the August precipitation norm of 51.2 millimetres, and also the local area average for the three summer months.
June, July and August are the three heaviest precipitation months of the year in the North Peace, and together they annually average 192 millimetres.
However this year after an above average total of 87.6 millimetres in a very wet June, the airport station posted only 51 millimetres in a below average July, and the three month total through yesterday was 169 .8.
It means that a slightly above average total of 53.4 millimetres is the post needed by August 31st to match the three month norm, but it should also be remembered, May was also an exceptionally wet month this year.
So since the El Nino driven spring made for early seeding this year, the May total of 63.3 millimetres can be considered part of a four month growing season, and the May through August precipitation norm is 299.9 millimetres.
That in turn sets up a much different precipitation demand scenario for August, as the total this year from May first through yesterday was 233.1 millimetres, and already past the norm for the four month period ending August 31st.
Thus what’s really needed now is for Mother Nature to turn off the tap, bring on the sunshine, and give the 225th edition of next year’s Old Farmer’s Almanac the option of telling the story of a North Peace bumper crop harvest in the fall of 2016.