It was a dry November in Maple Ridge, according to data collected at an Environment Canada weather station.
Total rainfall in November was 116.8 millimetres compared to 472 mm in 2018 – a 75 per cent decrease, according to researchers at the University of British Columbia Malcolm Knapp Research Forest, in Maple Ridge.
It’s normal for rainfall to vary “a great deal” from year to year, says Cheryl Power, assistant manager of the research forest.
Data shows longer-term average November rainfall at the local weather station is approximately 330 mm.
“Environmentally speaking, any unusually dry period will stress plants, animals – and entire ecosystems, but this November was still within the range of normal. Species and ecosystems are adapted to it,” Power explains.
The recent weather is not the only thing to consider when considering environmental impact, Power added.
“Any added human impacts like pollution, or species declines – these could make the natural system more vulnerable to the normal weather extremes,” she said. “For example, a salmon run that is already endangered may not have the numbers and diversity to rebound, if low rainfall leads to dry streams at critical times in their life cycle.”
Power confirmed November rainfall totals for 2018 and 2019 are on opposite sides of the average, but is not considered extreme.
In November 1952, the total rainfall was only 64.3 mm, and in 1979 of that same month it was 105.1 mm.
A single day of rainfall can even total more than some monthly totals for that same month, said Power.
A single day in October 2003 saw 145.8 mm of rainfall.