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Can you explain why as one travels east over the BC mountain ranges the climate gets progressively drier, but travelling from Vernon over the Monashee Mountains, you don't see the same effect?

Question submitted by John Campbell
(Vernon, B.C.)

Here's the full question:
"I am a bit confused about one thing. As you travel Eastward over BC mountain ranges the climate gets progressively drier on the Eastern side of the mountains. For example, Golden is much drier than Revelstoke, Princeton much drier than Hope. BUT, we you travel from here (in Vernon) over the Monashee Mountains over to Nakusp and Revelstoke, it gets much much wetter."

John, great question but you are essentially mixing up two local weather effects here.. the "rain catchment" effect and the "rain shadow" effect. Basically airmasses crossing over higher terrain are usually rained out on the windward side of the mountains and end up much drier on the leeward side of the mountains. But this is not always the case.. sometimes local weather effects override the climatological effect of the "larger scale topography".. and I believe that's what you're seeing here.

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