No Drought in Sight (yet)

It’s amazing how much impact the weather has on your state of mind. It’s June and the land is green, lush and verdant after a cool, damp spring. The frogs finished their evening chorus a few nights ago, and the river is starting to drop. Yesterday we had almost 16 mm of rain—an event almost…

spring

Focus On Spring

It’s been a cold winter and cool spring here on southern Vancouver Island, with more snow than we’re used to. Right now our upper elevation snowpack is at 72% of normal, which isn’t bad but still holds the risk of another dry summer, depending what our spring/summer temperature and precipitation is like. Not that long…

Listening to winter in a land of extremes

This summer I was worried about drought. About the ability of the greatly diminished Cowichan River to support the fall Chinook salmon run. These worries seem silly now that the winter rains have arrived, with a record 27 days of rain in October. A sodden procession of greyness and damp. This is the land of…

Wildfires in the Canadian West – 2016 edition

I wrote a post about the Fort McMurray wildfires for the Science Borealis blog on Thursday. The goal was to focus specifically on the fire: when and where it started, and the background conditions leading to its astronomical spread. The purpose was also to remind readers that—for all the data and analyses we’ve undertaken to…

Western Water & Forests: Spring 2016 Outlook

Last month, Dezene Huber, a professor at the University of Northern British Columbia, tweeted this photo of BC’s mighty Fraser River in Prince George. Doesn’t look so mighty, does it? Yes, that’s the gravel bed showing through, and there’s very little water – frozen or not. Fast forward a month, and Stephen Déry – also…