Nature, spying an opportunity, dumps on Yellowknife again

Yellowknife's deserted pop-up park languishes in rain during holiday Monday, August 6, 2018
Yellowknife's pop-up park in the rain on Monday, August 6, 2018. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

Holiday Monday was a washout for many in the North Slave as rain, at times torrential, lashed down on Yellowknife and the surrounding area.

Just over eight millimetres of rain fell in Yellowknife on Monday, nowhere near the city’s record for the day but still a significant contribution to what many feel is their wettest summer in memory.

Since the start of June, records kept at the Yellowknife Airport meteorological station suggest the city has received 213.1 millimetres of rain, or 21.3 centimetres (approaching eight and a half inches).

The annual average for Yellowknife over the same time period is between 60 and 70 millimetres – in other words, under a third of the rainfall residents have suffered this summer.



It’s not just the volume of rainfall, either – it’s the consistency with which rain is falling.

This June and July, 30 of the available 61 days featured more than trace amounts of precipitation according to the same Yellowknife Airport data, which is roughly double the usual figure.

Wettest ever?

In precipitation terms (which includes both rain and snow), Environment and Climate Change Canada’s figures suggest Yellowknife’s 2018 to date is already wetter than the entire years of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

By the end of August 6, the city had received 261.8 mm of precipitation.



The years 2013 to 2016 all received less than that across an entire 12-month span, ranging from 216.4 mm in 2013 to 244.2 mm in 2014.

We are only seven millimetres of rain away from beating the entirety of 2017, too, which posted 268.6 mm over 12 months. One more day like Monday would do it.

The wettest year on record is 1958, during which Yellowknifers endured 423.3 mm of rain and snow. However, the majority of that appears to have been snow with the exception of a very wet August.

The year 1958 averaged 35.27 mm of precipitation per month. Right now, 2018 is on track to beat it, averaging 35.55 mm per month so far this year.