30 October 2017

Record Annual Precipitation in Ottawa

Rain like your Ottawa ancestors never saw.

With 39 mm of rain recorded for Sunday, a record for the date, Ottawa has received 108.8 mm in October. It is still raining and there's more in the forecast.

The annual total precipitation (rain plus snow) for the year to date is 1,167.6 mm which would be a record if officially verified by the Meteorological Service of Canada. The previous record was 1,166.1 mm in 1972. And there are still two more months to go!

It was back in July that Ottawa's total precipitation for 2017 passed the city's climate normal for a whole year.


Discover Genealogy said...

Hmmm...pretty dangerous to say that Ottawa ancestors NEVER saw precipitation like this. I think records only go back to the middle of the 19th century (near the end of the LIA) don't they? Can't help but think there many have been many years in prior centuries when it was at least this wet.

JDR said...


Ottawa official weather records go back to 1872. There are large gaps to 1890. From then on the records have been conveniently summarized at https://ottawa.weatherstats.ca/charts/precipitation-yearly.html
While there may have been wetter years earlier there are no records to substantiate it.

Discover Genealogy said...

Thanks John,
It might be an interesting history project to review records from the earliest days of the Ottawa region (an other areas) to see what the (weather) conditions were like. I would certainly be interested in seeing how settlers fared. On the other side of the ledger, there is evidence that colonists in Virginia and Carolina suffered through some devastating drought years in the early 1600s. Explorers also reported extreme cold across the eastern part of the continent during that time period. Even without consistent records there must be some data in the old documents that could illustrate what the weather was like when people first started setting up homes in Upper and Lower Canada.