It sounds like something out of a fantasy novel: a 5000 mile long “river in the sky” stretching all the way from China to British Columbia, pelting gigantic amounts of rain and snow on everything in its path.
While there has been some fairly heavy rainfall over the past few days, yesterday, Wednesday, October 18th, was exceptionally heavy. Large stretches of downtown Vancouver were completely flooded, as 50 millimeters fell on the city on that day alone.
What Exactly Is A River In The Sky?
Although Vancouver is known as “rain-couver,” this amount of rainfall is unusual. The “sky-river” is a horizontal band of clouds that transports water vapour out of the tropics. Officials are calling this phenomenon “the big dark.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration describes how, “These rivers, which transport more water than the Amazon or the Mississippi, have a far-reaching impact – even on the food you may be eating today.”
Residents of the lower mainland may not care for the heavy rainfall; however, snow enthusiasts will find that the mountains receive a great deal more snowfall during this time.
While Metro Vancouver was pelted with rain, Whistler received more snow than it had since its first snowfall in September.