Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut July 22, 2016 - 1:05 pm

Record-breaking rainfall drenches Nunavut’s capital

“So you’re getting a bit sick of the rain, are you?”

THOMAS ROHNER
A massive downpour that started July 21 has washed out the Apex bypass road. (PHOTO BY THOMAS ROHNER)
A massive downpour that started July 21 has washed out the Apex bypass road. (PHOTO BY THOMAS ROHNER)
A two-day rainfall that could reach 60 to 70 mm by the evening of July 22 in Iqaluit has swollen local creeks, such as the Kuugalaaq, which runs through downtown. (PHOTO BY THOMAS ROHNER)
A two-day rainfall that could reach 60 to 70 mm by the evening of July 22 in Iqaluit has swollen local creeks, such as the Kuugalaaq, which runs through downtown. (PHOTO BY THOMAS ROHNER)
The amount of rain that fell on Nunavut’s capital July 21 — 46.3 mm — easily broke the previous record for rainfall on that date, Environment Canada meteorologist Brian Proctor said. (PHOTO BY THOMAS ROHNER)
The amount of rain that fell on Nunavut’s capital July 21 — 46.3 mm — easily broke the previous record for rainfall on that date, Environment Canada meteorologist Brian Proctor said. (PHOTO BY THOMAS ROHNER)

(Updated, July 23, 12 p.m.)

“So you’re getting a bit sick of the rain, are you? I don’t blame you.”

Environment Canada meteorologist Brian Proctor sympathized with rain-weary Iqalungmiut July 22.

Residents woke up July 22 to bloated creeks, flooded rivers and washed-out roads as Environment Canada issued a heavy rainfall warning.

The amount of rain that fell on Nunavut’s capital July 21 — 46.3 millimetres (1.8 inches) — easily broke the previous record for rainfall on that date, Proctor said.

The previous record was set on July 21, 1946 at 29 mm.

Since 1946 the average amount of precipitation for the entire month of July in Iqaluit has been roughly 43 mm, though Proctor said that number hadn’t been quality assured yet.

“It’s safe to say that Iqaluit received close to or slightly more than the historical monthly average in a single day” on July 21, the meteorologist said.

Normally, July, one of the wettest months of the year for south Baffin, receives precipitation on 12.7 days.

“Basically every day since July 9, except one, it’s rained in Iqaluit,” Proctor said.

That means Iqaluit will likely see far more than 12.7 days of precipitation in July this year.

The greatest precipitation on record in Iqaluit fell on July 14, 1968 when 52.8 mm of rain fell, Proctor said.

That’s just six mm more than the amount of rain that fell on Iqaluit July 21.

Proctor said the rain was expected taper off by around 7 p.m. July 22 — according to Environment Canada, more than 34 mm of rain fell July 22.

The City of Iqaluit closed down at least one road July 22 due to the rain, with a public service announcement from the city saying the Apex bypass would remain closed until further notice (it re-opened early July 25.)

Residents, especially children, should be careful around creeks, some of which have been turned into rapids by the heavy rain, the city said.

You can see more of flooding in Apex in this YouTube video called “Apex Creek Floodageddon” posted on July 22.

The wetter-than-normal July this year has also disrupted air travel.

A representative from First Air told Nunatsiaq News that nearly 120 flights had been cancelled this month because of weather, and another 33 flights had been delayed.

Cancelled flights into Iqaluit on July 23 due to fog meant that more than 120 students, elders, educators, artists, musicians and others participating in the 2016 Students on Ice Expedition to Nunavut and Greenland remained in Ottawa for yet another day before flying on late in the evening to their departure point in Iqaluit.

Wet and foggy weather, similar to that seen so far in 2016, may become the norm for parts of the eastern Arctic as climate change is expected to bring higher-than-normal precipitation levels and erratic weather, scientists say.

 

 

 

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