Someone (Neal) emailed me recently and asked me to write about the rain. He said this was the elephant in the room. The topic that we don’t talk about, but is on our mind anyway.
By chance Neal’s email was well timed, arriving just before a major winter storm. As I write this we are in the lull between storms – the next one is due in the next day or so. You could say we have water on the brain just now.
I will agree with Neal and say that Vancouver does have a rep for being rainy. The rep is justified if you look at the rainfall figures.
When I first got Neal’s email I thought that he was not right. My feeling was that we did have rain but it was not that much. So I had a look at the figures so I could tell him that compared to the UK we were not much different. Turns out I was wrong. We do get more rain. Maybe twice as much.
But wait. Why did I think that our rainfall wasn’t so bad? I don’t know. Really. Maybe I am not that observant. Maybe the rain comes down really hard and then clears up – rather than having light rain all day, we have downpours.
I think Vancouverites are kind of proud of the rain. We have restaurants like Raincity Grill which celebrate our reputation (and local produce). I have seen various t-shirts with Vancouver, rain and umbrellas in the design.
The pride in our rain also comes from the fact that our sea level winter temperatures are still mild. So rain that falls does not need to be shovelled. It is rarely an inconvenience. And for the winter sports fan, rain here means snow on the local mountains or in Whistler. Snow on the mountains where you can play in it, not on the street where you need to shovel it. A neat arrangement.
Rain is a fact of life here as elsewhere. If you really hate rain or think it could be a problem, then definitely plan a trip here in the winter. See for yourself. Play on the mountains whilst you are here, but walk around in the rain. See how Vancouverites cope. Maybe you will be able to make friends with the elephant in the room.