THE ERA OF WEATHER EXTREMES IS UPON US: “It’s less usual to see an atmospheric river penetrate right past the southern tip of Vancouver Island … and then into the Fraser Valley, going as deep in as in the Fraser Valley, and we saw this one,” stated Charles Curry, Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium after British Columbia was battered by a record-breaking rainstorm (November 2021)

    “Our work is the first to directly investigate the impact of these ‘rivers in the sky’ on ‘rivers on the land’ using climate model projections. Focusing on the Fraser River Basin, Canada’s largest Pacific watershed, and using a business-as-usual industrial emissions scenario, we show that the basin transitions from one where peak flow results from spring snowmelt to one where peak flow is often caused by extreme rainfall,” stated Charles Curry. “What the models tell us is sort of an overview or a kind of a probability of these events getting more frequent in the future. But we just can’t say so much about the exact timing of when they’re going to occur.”

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