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Ucluelet just finished its wettest month ever recorded

1,100 millimetres of rain poured down on West Coast community in November

Ucluelet shattered its rainfall records last month.

November was the wettest month ever recorded in Ucluelet with 1,100.2 millimetres of rain pouring down.

That amount easily shot past the area’s previous record for November, which had been 825.5 millimetres in 1962 and bested the previous record for any month, which had been 1,019.5 millimetres in January 2005.

Neighbouring Tofino received a milder, but still impressive 860 millimetres of rain in November, according to Environment Canada, though Tofino’s rain wreaked more flooding havoc.

Ucluelet’s rainfall readings are accredited to Ucluelet Kennedy Camp, but are actually recorded by Terry Smith at a station set up at his Port Albion residence near Ucluelet.

“As the month went on, I was thinking maybe it was going to be a record,” Smith told the Westerly News, adding he wasn’t exactly excited to see the area smash previous rainfall records.

“I would rather we didn’t,” he laughed.

Smith, 78, moved to Ucluelet in 1946 and has been tracking local rainfall since 1972.

He said rainfall recordings began at the MacMillan Bloedel Kennedy Lake logging camp, but around the mid-1970’s the camp’s staff housing was nixed, leading to the rainfall recording station to be moved to Smith’s residence.

“Nobody was there to take the readings on the weekend, so they moved the station to my place and I’ve done it ever since,” he said. “When the staff all moved out of the camp, it was just easier to move the station here and continue to call it Ucluelet Kennedy Camp just for continuity and the historical value I suppose…I’ve just carried on doing it. It’s interesting. A lot of people are interested and over the years, when people asked, I would hand out the readings and now I just have it on a group list and send it out at the end of each month.”

He said he voluntarily records rainfall every morning and every evening and relays the numbers to Environment Canada.

“I don’t really even think about it. It’s just something I do,” he said. “I’ve always been happy to do it. Sometimes it’s a nuisance going away on vacation or something like that, you don’t want to have gaps so you have to find somebody to do it, but we find somebody.”

December is off to a wet start already with 196 millimetres recorded in Tofino and 157 millimetres recorded in Ucluelet between 1 a.m Tuesday and 10 p.m. Wednesday, according to Environment Canada.

Smith noted the most rainfall ever recorded in Canada over a 24-hour period happened near Ucluelet as 489.2 millimetres landed on Brynnor Mines on Oct. 6, 1967.

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Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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