Precipitation

Precipitation is a key indicator of climate change, and changes in precipitation will affect all sectors, ecosystems, and communities. In BC, precipitation has increased over the last 50 years in all seasons by some estimates, or just in the summer months by other reports, with variation across the province [5,25,41]. Province-wide, annual average precipitation has increased by 12% per century [10]. However, these changes have been so far statistically insignificant and can largely be explained by the high natural variation in precipitation patterns across the province [10,42,43]. Winter warming trends led to higher snowpack density (wetter snow) across much of BC from 1950-2014, and as winter temperatures increase, winter snows are likely to continue to be wet and heavy, or even fall as rain [10]. This trend has not yet been significant for the BC coastal region that includes the MaPP region [10].

Changes in the amount, type, and timing of precipitation in BC will certainly affect both terrestrial and marine systems, although the relatively high uncertainty in historical monitoring data means that estimating current precipitation trends and associated impacts is a challenge [10]. In 2016, precipitation levels were higher than average for most regions in BC [11].

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