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Sunday, December 10, 2023
Dec. 10, 2023

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It’s our wettest October on record, and it’s not over

Vancouver sets rainfall high-water mark with several days to spare

By , Columbian staff writer

If there’s anything to be learned from this soggy October, it’s the power of persistence.

As of Thursday morning, Vancouver set a rainfall record for October with 7.68 inches of rain.

The record comes not from one or two major storms, but rather days and days of steady precipitation.

“That’s what sort of makes this month pretty remarkable, we only had one day this month with more than an inch of rain,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Colby Neuman. “It’s been lots of days with a quarter inch, or a half inch,”

With 25 drizzly days and counting, Thursday also tied the 2005 record for the most rainy days in October.

According to the weather service, Vancouver’s previous rainiest October was in 1997, when 7.37 inches of rain fell. The third-rainiest October was in 1955 with 7.25 inches.

Although meteorologists predicted storm systems left over from Typhoon Songda would hit Southwest Washington with historic force, the actual impacts felt on land were less than expected. Still, the typhoon-associated storms on Oct. 13 dropped 2.06 inches of rain on the city, making it the wettest day of the month.

With more precipitation in the forecast, Vancouver might get more than 8 inches of rain by the end of the month and set a new October rainy-days record.

This October has also been much rainier than the typically rainiest months of the year, November and December, when an average of 5 to 5.5 inches of rain fall.

Still, while 7.68 inches of rain is a lot, it’s less than half of the all-time record of 16.03 inches in December 2015.

However, Neuman said that’s no reason to assume a wet October is a harbinger of a soaked winter.

“In terms of what this means for the rest of the winter, we just don’t know,” he said. “It stands a decent chance of being the wettest month we’re going to have this year.”

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Columbian staff writer