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August weather continues hot and dry trend in Castlegar area

The highest temperature of the month was 41.2 C
Hot and dry conditions this summer made fighting wildfires difficult. The Davidson Brook wildfire in Castlegar is pictured here on Aug. 6. Photo: Betsy Kline

August continued the hot and dry trend established this summer in the Castlegar area.

The month saw one of the highest temperatures of the last 58 years when a record maximum temperature of 41.2 C was recorded at the West Kootenay Regional Airport on Aug. 15.

If it wasn’t for the record-breaking heat of late June and early July of 2021, this would have been the highest temperature of the last 58 years. During the 2021 heat wave, 25 temperature records were broken in June alone. That included the all-time high temperature, which was set three different times during the month, topping off at 43.9 C.

The average monthly temperature for August 2023 was 1.4 degrees above normal at 21.4 C. This follows the 2.6 degrees above-normal average temperature recorded in July.

Rainfall was again below average, but not as low as July’s 10 per cent of normal mark. During August, Castlegar received 27.8 mm of rain, for 90 per cent of the usual amount.

Even though rainfall was below average, it was still among the three wettest Augusts of the last ten years.

The Castlegar area continues to be at drought level 5 (out of 5) while the rest of the West Kootenay is either level 4 or 5.

More than half of the month’s rainfall came from a significant feed of moisture associated with the weakening tropical storm Hillary that tracked northward from the Baja of Mexico, over California, and towards Washington State, according to Southeast Fire Centre forecaster Jesse Ellis.

Meanwhile, a small upper low was dropping southward from the Gulf of Alaska towards Vancouver Island. As these two features approached each other, the leftovers of the old hurricane were drawn into the counter-clockwise rotation around the small upper low, redirecting the feed of moisture over the area to bring showers and thunderstorms Aug. 21 - 23.

READ MORE: Arrow Lakes water levels continue to drop as concerns for fish rise

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Betsy Kline

About the Author: Betsy Kline

After spending several years as a freelance writer for the Castlegar News, Betsy joined the editorial staff as a reporter in March of 2015. In 2020, she moved into the editor's position.
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