The year between April 2020 and March 2021 was the second wettest in Terrace in more than 50 years, according to an Environment Canada analysis prepared for The Terrace Standard.
Meteorologists compared the accumulated precipitation amounts for each year from April to March stretching back to 1969. There were 1,483.6 millimetres (58.4 inches) of precipitation last year, second only to 1991 when Terrace experienced 1,683 millimetres (66.3 inches) of precipitation.
In 2020, precipitation was 320 millimetres (12.5 inches) more than usual, which is 127 per cent of normal.
“If it was a given week, or even a given month, would be maybe not that impressive. But when you start looking at it from a yearly level, then it becomes totally a different story,” said Armel Castellan, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada.
The majority of months last year saw above average precipitation, including during the typically drier summer months.
“You’re dealing with a fact that you didn’t really get a proper break,” Castellan said.
“So then as a result, you add all those anomalies together and you have, one or two dry months in the entire year, and you’re going to end up with a wetter year overall.”
People in Terrace can expect to keep waiting for that break from the rain and colder than seasonal temperatures. March 2021 was one of the wettest on record stretching back more than 100 years, and April is trending to be colder than average, according to Environment Canada data.
Last month saw over 200 per cent the typical rainfall, putting it firmly in the top five wettest months of March since precipitation records began in 1913.
Castellan said that forecasting precipitation more than a week into the future is difficult by nature, so it is too early to say if the high levels of precipitation will persist into the spring and summer.
“That said, what I would kind of go with right now is April, is going to very much likely stay colder than normal.”
In March, the average temperature was 1.6 degrees Celsius, almost a full degree lower than the average of 2.4 degrees.
“Maybe about a degree maybe it’s a degree and a half colder than normal going forward is definitely the overall trend, and how that’s going to manifest in terms of precipitation is really tough to say.”
Even if April is wetter than normal, it could still seem drier than March because it is typically the fifth driest month in Terrace.
“You drop off almost 20 millimetres from the average of March so even if you have more than normal precipitation it’s relative, a good step drier than what March is traditionally,” said Castellan.