News / Vancouver

Vancouver rain not going anywhere says meteorologist

Feel like it's been raining everyday? You're (almost) right.

There have only been five rain-free days in Vancouver this November, according to Environment Canada.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

There have only been five rain-free days in Vancouver this November, according to Environment Canada.

Keep those umbrellas handy Vancouverites, because it has rained 53 out of the last 61 days and that trend is here to stay for the next few months, according to one meteorologist.

“In the short to medium term, there is no real respite [from] the wet weather,” said Ross MacDonald, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

Vancouver experienced a record breaking number days of rain (28) in October and a near-record breaking number in November (25). The November record of 27 days was set in 1953.

The good news is it should get drier – November is historically the wettest month of the year, with an average of 20 days of rain in Vancouver. But December is not much better with an average of 18 days of rain, he said.

To make matters worst, 220 mm of rain has already fallen in Vancouver during November, 31 mm more than the 30-year average of 189mm. 

“We’re certainly on the higher side of normal,” said MacDonald, who maintained this is standard West Coast weather.

In addition to the rain, Vancouverites can also expect cooler weather starting this weekend, with a chance of mixed rain or even snow on Sunday, he said.

 “Typically this time of year we get into a good storm trap. The jet stream points at the West Coast here so it has been one system after another riding the jet stream,” said MacDonald.

A woman looks out towards the water from the sea wall in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, January, 29, 2013.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

A woman looks out towards the water from the sea wall in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, January, 29, 2013.

April is the light at the end of the tunnel, when the average number of rainy days in a month finally falls below 15.

But until then, the seemingly endless days of rain can take its toll on people’s mental health, according to Polly Guetta, development coordinator at Mood Disorders Association of British Columbia.

It’s the lack of sun that affects people’s mood, she explained.

“We see a lot of people in the fall start to look for services to help with their mental health.”

People who experience seasonal patterns of depression may be diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). There is no definite cause for the condition, but residents who live in places that see less sun are more likely to have it, said Guetta.

Anyone who experiences symptoms of depression for more than two weeks should seek a professional opinion, said Guetta.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Symptoms

·      Loss of energy

·      Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness

·      Lack of enjoyment in activities that they used to enjoy

·      Trouble sleeping or oversleeping

·      Changes in appetite

How to cope

·      20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day

·      Meditation

·      Consistent sleep schedule

·      Light therapy (buy a SAD lamp)

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