Unsettled weather makes for warmer, wetter January

It may have been a new year but the weather systems stuck to the familiar formula of recent months – it was a little warmer and dryer than normal.

“A series of at least eight Pacific frontal systems of varying size, age, and intensity passed over the area during the first three weeks of the month within a southwesterly, westerly, or northwesterly flow aloft,” says a weather summary from the Southeast Fire Centre’s Jesse Ellis. “Temperatures remained unusually mild during the majority of this period because a persistent influx of maritime air into the area usually has a warming effect during the winter months.”

Ellis added that the mean monthly temperature was -0.2°C, which is about a degree and a half warmer than average.

But just as the month came to a close, starting on the 28th, a colder northerly flow gained control. A surface-based Arctic airmass was able to push southward over the area during the last several days of the month, bringing a significant downturn in temperatures that didn't start to warm again until early February.

The highest temperature was a balmy 5.4°C on the 19th, and the coldest was -15.6°C on the 30th.

Total monthly precipitation was 14% below average. However, total rainfall was more than twice the average amount and total snowfall was around one quarter of normal.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice