July 2014 – The heat was on – Drought continues – Threatens water and Fish

June dry, now July hot… heat continues through August
(forecast for next week or two included below!)

Temperatures well above normal.  Rainfall normal (which isn’t much, since it’s our driest month of the year historically).

For the month of July we were above normal in the City and Airport for average, minimums and maximum temperatures.

Rainfall was a little below normal in the City but almost exactly normal for the Airport.  July is our driest month though so 30 millimetres of rain doesn’t go very far.

Fire season heats up:

The consistently warm and dry weather led us to experience a pretty early and intense start to the fire season.  Here is an animated map (click for larger/to repeat) of the country showing the ‘fire weather’ since the summer solstice and the fires started all over Western Canada but especially in the Northwest Territories and the northern Interior of BC and Washington State.

Fire Weather and Fire spots Solstice 2014 to August 4 – From Natural Resources Canada’s “Canadian Wildland Fire Information System

Effects of last year’s drought affecting us now.

As was reported on CBC Radio Victoria this morning due the unprecedented dry spell that started last July and really lasted through the historic October-January dry period this fall and winter, the mountain lakes and snowpack were at a great disadvantage to start this summer.

That has led to our first water restriction in a few years in the City of Port Alberni and to a crisis at Cowichan Lake with the River being at unprecedented low levels for this time of year.

Warm weather to continue through August

The long range models still have us dry and warm right through next week and into next week.  The University of Washington models were suggesting possible cooling and some rain by Sunday or Monday but that appears to be diminishing in probability.  That will mean another half month of dry and hot weather.

The longer range Canadian Ensemble Model (not-mobile friendly link) also had some rain and cooler temperatures starting this weekend but it now looks like temperatures are set to build again Sunday through Tuesday with the closest sign of rain way out past the 15th.

August2014CMCTemps August2014RainCMC



Brett Anderson’s analysis of other models indicates that we can expect “very warm” weather at the end of August as well, so I won’t be surprised if we are still talking about drought and concerns about fish returning in a months time.

Stay safe out there!  No Campfires.  Water responsibly. But enjoy this weather as much as you can!

See you at the lake!


Average Daily Temperature for June:

Alberniweather: 20.1° C
Alberni Elementary School : 20.1° C
Maquinna Elementary School: 19.7° C
Neptune Canada Station: 22.5° C
Overall City Average: 20.6° C
Environment Canada Airport: 19.6° C

1981-2010 Env Canada Normal (Robertson Creek): 18.3° C
City Stations Diff from normal: +2.3° C
Official (Airport) Difference from normal: +1.3° C

Average Minimum Daily Temperature for June:

Alberniweather: 13.9° C
AES: 14.0° C
MAQ: 13.6° C
NEP: 15.6° C
Overall City Average: 14.3° C
Environment Canada Airport: 11.7° C

1981-2010 Env. Canada Normal (Robertson Creek): 10.9° C
City Stations Difference from normal: +3.4° C
Official (Airport) Difference from normal: +0.8 C

Average Maximum Daily Temperature for June:

Alberniweather: 27.0° C
AES: 26.5° C
MAQ: 26.9° C
NEP: 26.9° C
Overall City Average: 26.8° C
Environment Canada Airport: 27.5° C
1981-2010 Env Canada Normal (Robertson Creek): 25.6° C
City Stations Difference from normal: +1.2° C
Official (Airport) Difference from normal: +1.9° C

Average Precipitation for June:

Alberniweather: 21.8 mm
AES: 25.2 mm
MAQ: 25.2 mm
NEP: NA (not measured)
Overall City Average: 24.1 mm
EC: 30.4 mm

1981-2010 Env Canada Normal (Robertson Creek): 31.0 mm
City Stations Diff. normal: -6.9 mm (78% of normal)
Official (Airport) Diff. from  normal: -0.6 mm (98% of normal)


Comparison to recent February’s at Alberniweather (only).

2013:  Temperatures were slightly warmer this July than last.  We actually got far more rain this year than last July’s 2.8mm.  But the drought that began last July seems to still be echoing this July with low water levels.

2012:  July 2012 was much cooler but a little drier.

2011:  July 2011 was much cooler with a little more rain.

2010:  July 2010 was a little cooler but nearly bone dry.

2009:  July 2009 was quite similar to this month but a little drier.

2008:  July 2008 was similar to this year with cooler evenings and a little drier.

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1 thought on “July 2014 – The heat was on – Drought continues – Threatens water and Fish

  1. Thanks for the analysis and numbers Chris! My measure of a nice hot summer day is when we reach or exceed 30C, and using EC numbers from the airport, we’ve done that for the past 9 days straight, and for a total of 13 days in July 2014. In recent years, we have to go back to 2009 to beat that number – that year we had 14 days over 30C in July, and we also reached a high of 40C on July 29th of that year.

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