It has been raining at Vancouver Airport for more than 40 days


According to meteorologists, this city recognized as the most rainy city in Canada has not had any measurable decline in the past 40 days.

Environment Canada stated that the last time it rained at Vancouver International Airport was on June 15. The 41 consecutive days of drought are expected to continue, making the city expected to break decades of records.

The Bureau of Meteorology uses data from the airport to represent the Vancouver area.

“We didn’t see any precipitation on the horizon,” said meteorologist Bobby Sekhon. “For the next week or so, Vancouver is still dry, even the whole [B.C. Day] Long weekend. “

Sekhon said July and August in southern BC are usually dry. The difference this year is that the rain stopped a few weeks earlier than usual and never returned.

“In view of [the dry stretch] Starting in mid-June, this is a very special part,” he said.

According to forestry experts, the trees and plants on the south coast usually adapt well to wet winters and springs, followed by dry summers, but the extended dry period and the record heat wave in late June have already burdened them.

Sally Aitken, a professor of forestry at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, said: “Plants can survive on stored energy for a period of time… but in the long run, these effects will accumulate.

Long-term impact

Aitken explained that lack of water affects plants in two different ways. In the short term, drought can interfere with the ability of plants to keep existing cells alive. In the long run, they cannot grow because they do not have enough water to absorb carbon dioxide as part of the photosynthesis process.

According to Aitken, many large conifers common in Vancouver, such as Douglas fir, have adapted to drought and “will be fine.” But she said that trees that grow in shallow soil, such as those on rocky cliffs by the sea, cannot dig deeper to find a source of water, so they will be “the first to go.”

Trees on Pacific Street in Vancouver on July 5. In the long period of warm and dry weather experienced in this city, many trees have fallen leaves. (Ben Nilms/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Most areas of southern British Columbia are experiencing drought, as is the central interior. Aitken said that researchers have seen some “deaths” of western red cedar and large fir growing in the shallow soils of eastern Vancouver Island.

Aitken said that with climate change, these findings may become more common.

“There are many things we don’t know about how these forests will respond to climate change. But of course, the cumulative impact is one of them,” she said.

“We know that, especially trees, they can withstand a lot of adversity in their lifetime. They have a long lifespan. They are trapped in one place and face multiple pressures in this life.”

“But if these pressures accumulate too quickly or these extreme years are too frequent, we may see more and death.”

Increase watering

The Vancouver Parks Commission doubled the watering work by adding watering trucks and extending working hours.

Park Commissioner Dave Demers said they are focusing on additional watering of the most vulnerable young trees and isolated trees planted on sidewalks in the city center.

“We have seen the city center, and after the thermal dome, we have seen part or all of the leaves falling across the street,” he said. “We have seen the trees turn brown from bottom to top.”

On Tuesday, July 27, 2021, Kyle Sternat, the caretaker of an apartment building on Hemlock Street, watered the garden in Vancouver. (Maggie McPherson/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

The Park Commission asked residents to help water trees near their property, which seemed to be in trouble, either let the hose trickle or dump the bucket slowly near the tree’s drip line-the outer edges of the leaves, where the roots absorb water most effectively.

Demers said that although most trees can survive this dry season, the pressure will affect them for years to come.

“The branches that are still alive this year may die next year. So the pressure our trees are now under will affect the complexity of these years.”

Continuous drying up may break records

Sekhon said the current drought in the Vancouver area may last for several weeks. The historical record for the number of rainless days was set in 1951, when there was no rain in the city from June 14th to August 10th.

When the rain does come, experts hope it will be thorough.

“We need a lot of precipitation to catch up, and it looks like we won’t get a lot, at least not in the short term,” the meteorologist said. “But we know that when we enter September and October, we will begin to enter more rain cycles.”



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