COLLINS – Why aren’t we ready for the next atmospheric river event?

Flooding in Fraser Valley, November 2021. (Image: Govt of BC)

ALTHOUGH THE TERM has been around since the 1990’s, I hadn’t heard the term “atmospheric river” very often. It’s nothing new, but has been described as the Pineapple Express, and other less scary terms than “atmospheric river “.

In a nutshell, there are thin lines in the atmosphere which contain much of the rainfall that falls each year. They are called rivers because that’s kind of what they look like from space. There are less than a handful of these rivers around at any one time, but they can be thousands of kilometres in length.

If conditions are right, they drop some of that moisture on land. The west coast of North America is particularly susceptible. Every once in a while, the amount of precipitation reaches the critical level, leading to long and heavy rainfall.


Doug Collins has had a wide background in the broadcast industry, having done virtually every type of news and sports broadcasting, including news anchor, sports play-by-play, and editorialist. His “One Man’s Opinion” aired on TV from 1973- 2013. He retired from his management roles in the station in October, 2018, but continues to write his column. In 2019, Doug was awarded the Freedom of the City.

About Mel Rothenburger (9504 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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