Is our climate getting drier?

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Abby_wx
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Location: Abbotsford, BC
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Is our climate getting drier?

Postby Abby_wx » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:22 am

It might seem so after the last few summers, but I was wondering how many locations have actually seen a drying trend over last 30 years compared to the previous 30 year normals.

I was looking at the data for Abbotsford and I noticed that the 1981-2010 normals have 1537.8 mm annually, compared to 1573.2 mm for the 1971-2000 normals. A reduction of 2.3%.

I haven't had time to check a bunch of stations, I was just wondering is this trend is common in southern BC. I think you may have touched on this, Glacier, but I don't remember where you posted the data.
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Glacier
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Location: Okanagan

Re: Is our climate getting drier?

Postby Glacier » Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:29 pm

I've only looked at two cities (Kamloops and Vancouver) with data back to 1896, and in both cases they have been getting drier since the 1950s. Months matter as well. All three winter months in Kamloops have been getting drier since 1900, but Spring has only recently started drying out.

NOTE: I'm using the EC Climate Change IPCC data that adjust and combine nearby weather stations and make a longer period of record.

How far back can you go where the precipitation has a drying trend?

Kamloops:
Jan = 1896 (beginning of records)
Feb = 1896 (beginning of records)
Mar = 1994
Apr = 1969
May = 2009
Jun = 1923
Jul = 1961
Aug = 1895 (beginning of records)
Sep = 1954
Oct = 1918
Nov = 1896
Dec = 1900

YEAR = 1959
WINTER = 1896 (beginning of records)
SPRING = 2010
SUMMER = 1941
FALL = 1973

Vancouver (1896-present):
Jan = 1951
Feb = 1921
Mar = 1971
Apr = 1969 (same as Kamloops)
May = 1970
Jun = 1946
Jul = 1930
Aug = 1936
Sep = 1896 (since records began)
Oct = 1939
Nov = 1971
Dec = 1922

YEAR = 1956
WINTER = 1930
SPRING = 1971
SUMMER = 1945
FALL = 1980

To understand what this means for Vancouver, 11 of 12 months have a wetting trend since the late 1800s. September has a drying trend.


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