A drier than normal June followed an unseasonably dry spring in the Kamloops region, which doesn’t bode well for the wildfire risk over the summer.
June, on average, is the wettest month of the year in Kamloops. This year, however, only about half the average amount of rain fell on the River City during the sixth month.
Kamloops received 21.2 millimetres of rain in June, compared to 36.8 millimetres last year, which was in line with the average of 37.4 millimetres, according to Environment Canada.
This year’s June precipitation amount is much more than 2017’s 3.4 millimetres of rain, and clsoer to the 15 millimetres that fell in 2016.
The average temperature for June is 18.8 C, which was approximately where the mercury landed this year.
The lack of rain has been a common trend so far in 2019.
“It’s been a fairly dry spring for Kamloops,” Environment Canada meteorologist Bobby Sekhon said.
March, April and May produced about half as much rain as last year, with just 37.3 millimetres compared to the 64.8 millimetres of precipitation that fell in Kamloops over those three months in 2018.
Usually, 54.2 millimetres of rain falls over that time, meaning spring 2019 yielded just 69 per cent of normal precipitation in Kamloops, Sekhon told KTW.
“It wasn’t top 10 driest, but it’s fairly dry,” he said. “We want to get as much precipitation as possible to eliminate or at least mitigate some of the wildfire threats.”
The BC Wildfire Service lists the wildfire danger rating in the Kamloops Fire Centre as low, with pockets of very low and moderate danger ratings, which are known to increase quickly with a stretch of hot weather.
Environment Canada’s forecast for the 2019 summer months is above normal temperatures in Kamloops, which are in the low 20s for July and August.
July is starting out wet in Kamloops, with rain expected to fall from Thursday, July 4, through Sunday, July 7, but Sekhon said hot and dry conditions will follow.
While June is, historically, the wettest month for Kamloops, July is the second-wettest, Sekhon said.
The average rainfalls for July and August are 31.4 millimetres and 23.7 millimetres, respectively.
Last year, Kamloops had above-average precipitation in July of 39.9 millimetres (compared to the average of 31.4 millimetres), but just 15.7 millimetres of rain in August, which was under the average of 23.7 millimetres.
— This story has been updated to provide the latest figures from Environment Canada for precipitation and temperature in June 2019