While many are hailing (forgive the pun) Monday evening’s storm as the ‘storm of the century’, it actually wasn’t, according to Southeast Fire Centre’s weather expert Ron Lakeman. In fact, it wasn’t even ‘a’ storm at all … it was a bunch of them.
“It was a north/south line of storms moving east,” he said. “How that would appear (to someone on the ground) would depend on the maturity of the particular thunder cell.”
Windspeeds recorded near the Nelson airport peaked at roughly 105 km/hour (the maximum recorded in Castlegar has been roughly 115), but Lakeman says this kind of storm is a fairly common occurrence, happening every year or two in the region … just not usually in such densely-populated areas.
The dense population certainly increased the storm’s impact – the Castlegar Fire Department usually averages roughly 50 calls amonth, but fielded 42 calls in just two hours Monday (between 7 and 9 p.m.).