Winnipeg breaks precipitation record

Winnipeg has entered the weather record books after Monday’s rainfall pushed the city’s total past one set 60 years ago.

Natalie Hasell, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, confirmed that the rainfall during the overnight hours into Monday has made this year the wettest on record, breaking the previous in 1962 of 723.2 millimetres.

Hasell said as of 10 a.m. 739.7 mm is the new record for Winnipeg as 33.3 mm fell in the last 24 hours up to 10 a.m.

“That 33.3 mm is actually just over twice what we had gotten in October up to now, or from the first of October to yesterday,” said Hasell. “The amount was only 14.1 mm.”

Before October, Winnipeg has received 692.3 mm of precipitation from January to September.

Hasell couldn’t say why this year has been so much wetter compared to previous years, noting there are a variety of reasons that have led to the precipitation.

“Some of it is really just coincidence, how things have lined up…Right now, we are back in kind of a pattern where the jet stream will probably lead to more low-pressure systems over the area. So expect a more variable rest of the fall and probably into early winter.”

With 2022 not being over just yet, Hasell said it is likely the record number will continue to climb but it might be hard to see the record climb past 800 mm.

“As we move into fall, we start to see much drier conditions compared to what we would normally see in the summer. So, it’s not impossible, but we would need another set of Colorado lows to produce thunderstorms that fall right over the city. So it seems to me, less likely as we move forward into the drier season.”

Looking ahead to 2023, Hasell said the wait-and-see approach is needed before we know if the city could have another wet year, adding the long-term forecasts aren’t giving an idea of what things could look like yet.

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