October set Kootenay temperature records

Summer came late to the West Kootenay, but it had the good graces to hang on well into the fall.

October saw record temperatures set in the first few days of the month, says a weather forecaster with the Southeast Fire Centre.

Jesse Ellis says a blocking ridge of high pressure allowed this year's extended summer weather to persist until around October 19.

“This is the fourth consecutive month with warmer and drier than average conditions,” says Ellis. “Not only were three new daily temperature records set in early October, but the heat of the first two-thirds of the month helped break the record mean monthly temperature.”

That new record mean monthly temperature is 10.6°C, 2.6°C higher than the climatological average.

However, no temperature records were set – the highest reached, 25.5°C on October 3, is well short of the 27.2°C set in 1980.

This was also the first frost-free October at the Castlegar weather station in over 10 years.

But the glorious weather came to a crashing end on October 20, when a series of Pacific frontal systems in a zonal (westerly) flow brought rain and a return to near-normal temperatures.

But drought-like conditions persist: while rain fell for ten of the last 11 days of the month, it didn’t amount to much. The 29.8 millimetres that fell is 40% less than the average monthly total of 49.4 millimetres.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice