June rainfall breaks records in Yellowknife

With 114 millimetres of rainfall in June, Yellowknife has already exceeded summer averages for rainfall.

Environment Canada says city's wettest June on record in the past 76 years

With 114 millimetres of rain, precipitation in June exceeded averages for June, July and August in Yellowknife last month. It was the wettest June in the city in the last 76 years. (Emily Blake/CBC)

Rain rain go away, come again another day.

If you've been in Yellowknife this summer you might have had cause to sing that refrain.

That's because rainfall in the city broke records last month.

Dan Kulak, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said at 114 millimetres, it was the city's wettest June on record for the last 76 years.

That's compared to an average of about 29 millimetres in June, and 40 millimetres in July and August.

"Really June, July and August [have] met their rainfall total in just the first month of the summer," Kulak said.

But Kulak said the massive rainfall should be put in the context of the preceding month. Yellowknife saw only 11 millimetres in May, with the month falling somewhere in the middle as the 34th driest May in the past 76 years.

A big puddle in the Parker Park parking lot in Yellowknife. Rainy weather has dashed many summer plans in the city. (Emily Blake/CBC)

"So you really can have changes in the weather from one month to the next," he said.

Yellowknife isn't the only community in the Northwest Territories where sunny summer plans have been dashed due to rain clouds. Kulak said about a week ago Fort Liard had a "major rain event."

"It depends where the low pressure systems develop," he said.

Fort Simpson also had 76 millimetres of precipitation in June putting it at the 12th wettest June in the community on record in the past 112 years. It typically has an average monthly rainfall of about 51 millimetres.

But not everywhere across the territory has been feeling the rain.

In Inuvik, for example, total precipitation for June was only 3.5 millimetres making it the seventh driest June in the community over the past 61 years.

What to expect 

Halfway through July so far, there has been about 34 millimetres of precipitation in the Yellowknife area, already almost exceeding the monthly average. 

Record rainfall in Yellowknife made sights like this rainbow common in the city in June. (Emily Blake/CBC )

Kulak said the summer forecast suggests it will be on the cooler side for much of the Northwest Territories and there's not really a "good, clear signal as to what we can expect" with precipitation.

"I mean we don't really know how dry or how wet it's going to be," he said.

"Maybe we'll get a little bit more, and maybe it'll stay kind of dry." 

While the rain may be giving some people the summer blues it does have some benefits — keeping wildfires at bay. But Kulak cautions that we're not out of the woods just yet.

"Things can change in as little as a week from a large dump of rain, to drying right out and the potential for fires. So keep vigilant when you're out there. Don't think that it's wet all the time or wet everywhere or is going to remain that way and just enjoy the summer."