A picture of a dry creek, a drought map of VanIsle, and a dead red cedar covered by the text "BONE DRY VANISLE".

Photo Credit: VanIsle.News Staff

No Quick Fix Coming for Drought on VanIsle

It'll be cooler than normal, but will it be wetter?

The fall forecast offers a bit of hope, but it’s a long way off

It’s going to take a lot of rain to fix this drought. Creeks are drying up. Salmon are dying. Trees are turning brown.

Environment and Climate Change Canada released its fall forecast. It’s… not looking good.

To be fair, it’s not looking bad, either. But we aren’t going to get a whole bunch of rain right off the bat.

There is a half-decent chance that we’ll get more rain than normal this fall, but we’re going to have to wait a bit for it to get here.

Bobby Sekhon is a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada. He told Comox Valley Record that any rain coming over Labour Day Weekend will help, but only a little.

“We will take what we can get, but there are still drought-like conditions out there.”

He says there is a 20%–30% chance that we’ll get more rain than normal over the next three months. That would certainly help the trees that are struggling.

We can also expect things to be warmer. For most of VanIsle, there is a 60%–70% chance of warmer than normal temperatures.

But for WestIsle, the chance goes up to 90%–100%.

Unless we get lots of rain to fill the rivers, those warmer temperatures could be tough for migrating salmon. Of course, we won’t see the same extreme stream temperatures that we saw during the heat dome. But it will still be harder for the fish to find places to cool off.

Part of why we’re getting these forecasts is because we’re in a La Niña year.

Credit: US National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration

La Niña means “Little Girl” in Spanish.

La Niña is when stronger than usual trade winds cool the Pacific Ocean and push the jet stream northward. This often leads to drought in the southern U.S. and heavy rains and flooding in Canada. In addition, during a La Niña year, winter temperatures are cooler than normal in the North.

So with cooler temperatures and the chance of extra rain, we could be in for a stormy fall season.

But again, we’ll have to wait a while before those storms show up.

In the meantime, keep saving water.

And let’s hope BC Hydro fixed all those power line problems back in July.