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Rain reclaims its place in October weather pattern

Drivers cautioned to watch for puddles and pavement streams on wet roads



Three months of record dry conditions for Sea to Sky country is now catching up to the area.

Clouds and showers set in on Saturday and by Sunday morning the showers turned to solid rain.

Squamish had a rainfall warning with precipitation amounts predicted to reach 70mm by the end of Sunday. The forecast suggested Whistler and Pemberton would collect 25mm of rain.

According to a severe weather watcher for Environment Canada, more than 100mm of rain has been collected in Squamish since the clouds rolled in late in the week.

Jason Ross tracks weather data from the Squamish airport and using his own sophisticated data collection devices at his home.

“We have been getting huge amounts of rainfall,” he said while dodging parking lot raindrops after grocery shopping. “We’re definitely getting hammered with a lot of rain.”

Ross said another front is expected to roll in Monday night with lesser amounts of precipitation compared to what fell over the course of this weekend.

Some rivers and streams in the Sea to Sky corridor are swollen and carrying large amounts of sediment like sections of the Cheakamus River and Callaghan Creek.

The wet weather wasn’t severe enough to stop a regional soccer tournament for six-year olds in Pemberton. Parent Karen Olsson reported the players were soaked.

According to the Weather Network, Whistler gets an average of 16 days of rainfall in the month of October and 61cm of rain fell on the wettest day in October back on the seventh day of the month in 1984. The average rainfall amount for the month is 138cm. The Weather Network reported that on Saturday 3.8mm of rain fell. Precipitation data is only available for the previous day.

The freezing levels are still too high to bring any significant amounts of snow to the alpine. Environment Canada is suggesting the freezing level is expected to drop to 1,600 metres on Tuesday. That would put the snowline at about the elevation of the Chic Pea Restaurant on Whistler Mountain and possibly drop a few centimetres of snow on the upper elevations.

Drivers are being warned to watch for standing water and streams on Highway 99 that are causing some vehicles to hydroplane.

With rain in the forecast Mainroad, a Winter Driving Safety Alliance Partner, is suggesting everyone drive with caution.

Shift into Winter is a joint provincial initiative supported by organizations committed to improving the safety of drivers during the winter months.

Here are some tips to keep you safe on the road:

1. Maintain a safe following distance. It takes longer to stop on a slippery road. Look ahead and keep at least four seconds distance between you and other cars.

2. Drop your speed to match road conditions.

3. Slow down when approaching icy areas such as shaded sections, bridges and overpasses as these sections of road freeze sooner than others in cold weather.

4. Accelerate and brake slowly. When starting from a stop on slick roads, start slowly and accelerate gradually to maintain traction and avoid spinning your wheels. When stopping, plan well in advance, apply the brakes gently and slowly add pressure rather than braking suddenly.

5. Avoid sudden moves. Slow down and steer smoothly and gradually to avoid skidding. Accelerate gently, turn slowly, and brake carefully and early.

6. Know how to handle a skid. A skid happens when your wheels slide out of control on a slippery surface and is a result of driving too fast for road conditions. If you start to skid, ease off the brake or accelerator, look and steer smoothly in the direction you want to go. Be careful not to over steer. If you are on ice and skidding in a straight line, step on the clutch or shift to neutral.

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