WATCH: While January is considered a rainy month for the Island, 2018 proved to be a lot wetter than usual this year. And the reason has to do with a process called pineapple express. Luisa Alvarez reports.
Umbrellas this time of year are not out of the norm in Victoria. But what is unusual this year is the amount of precipitation that fell for the month of January.
The numbers by Environment Canada show just how much more rain we got this year compared to the last few.
In 2016 Victoria Airport saw 135 millimetres, in 2017 even less at 50 mm but this year the airport received a whopping 221 mm of rain.
The increase in rainfall this year is because of atmospheric rivers.
These “rivers” transport most of the water and vapour outside of the tropics bringing warmer temperatures but releasing all the vapour and water in the form of rain or snow.
The atmospheric river also known as a pineapple express is not necessarily common but it’s not that unusual either.
“They don’t happen the same way every year and they don’t happen in the same numbers every year,” Scientific Assistant at the University of Victoria Edward Wiebe said.
“This year we had a couple events just in January and they bring a lot of rain so that’s why this month stood out.”
They also happen to be somewhat unpredictable far in advance.
“They’re not unpredictable as weather events it’s just unpredictable how many we will have and how many will occur in the future,” Wiebe said.
So, keep your umbrellas handy because rainy season here on Vancouver Island is far from over.