It seems like never-ending rainfall and, according to officials, it’s what is causing water levels to creep higher across much of Central and Eastern Canada. Environment Canada’s senior climatologist David Phillips explained to CTV News Channel on Saturday the scientific reasons behind the drastic flooding in some parts of the country.
1.Over the past month there has been record-breaking amounts of rain.
“What we are seeing is two-and-a-half to three times the amount of rain,” said Phillips.
According to Phillips, normal rain fall for this time of year is usually in the 75 millimetres range whereas, this year, some regions have seen more than 200 millimetres of rain since the beginning of April.
He added: “Prior to that, all the little nooks and crannies and spaces had already been filled with snow-melt water.”
2. Ground can’t absorb any more water
“The ground is like a sponge and that sponge is sopping wet, even before these rains came. So when these rains came […] they have no other place to go then to run-off into the rivers and creeks and raise water levels,” explained Phillips.
He also added that much of our landscape is made of cement, asphalt and building materials which aren’t absorbent.
“We’ve removed the green infrastructure and replaced it with grey infrastructure. So when that raindrop falls, it become immediately a flood drop,” he said.
3. Slow-moving storm
Phillips said in some areas, it’s been raining for 48 hours and there hasn’t been a break, which has undoubtedly exacerbated the flooding situation.
“Typically storms hit and run in Canada but this particular one has just laboured along the ground and is just taking its sweet time to move away,” said Phillips.
4. Climate change
Phillips said climate change is playing a part in the widespread flooding.
“The fact that is changing our weather, in both the intensity and frequency, and the duration of the weather may very well be the most important way in which climate change is affecting us.”