October snow dump nearly set record

·2 min read

Weather forecasters say winter’s early visit in October was indeed unusual.

The Southeast Fire Centre’s weather office has released its summary of last month’s weather. And while overall temperatures and precipitation were more or less normal, it was punctuated by some bouts of more extreme weather.

“A series of alternating ridges and troughs within the prevailing westerly flow led to a normal month in terms of the mean monthly temperature,” says forecaster Jesse Ellis. “The number of days with measurable precipitation also fell quite close to normal: 13 days this year compared to the average of 12.”

Two daily precipitation records were broken when active fronts passed over the region on the 10th and 16th.

Then, winter came for a short visit on the 22nd. That’s when a dry northerly flow pushed colder and drier air into the area, the forecaster says. That front saw bitter winter temperatures for four days, breaking one daily minimum temperature, on the 25th, when the mercury hit -8.6°C.

But Ellis says the most notable event from that front was the early shot of accumulating snow – 11.4 cm – on the 23rd.

“This snowfall event was quite an anomaly - not only did it result in 9.5 cm more snow in that one day than the total monthly average, but it was also one of the earliest occurrences of a significant accumulation,” says Ellis. “Over the last 20 years there have only been two other snowfall events exceeding 5 cm (2009 and 2006, with 7.2 cm both times).”

That snow dump came close – within 1.3 cm – of breaking a daily October snowfall record of 12.7 cm, set in 1975.

Even without breaking the record, it was still impressive, bringing 600% more snow than average for the month.

At least it melted a few days later, giving residents of the West Kootenay a second chance at fall.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice