Glimmer of snowpack hope? But return to cool mornings/warm afternoons

The good news is the rain yesterday fell as snow up in the mountains.  Even though it hasn’t shown up on the graph just yet, just maybe, this is a start on a bit of a snowpack.

From the River Forecast Centre.  Data is a little noisy to start... third and second to last values are the important Snow Water Equivalent  and Snow Depth measurements.  Times are in UTC.
From the River Forecast Centre. Data is a little noisy to start… third and second to last values are the important Snow Water Equivalent and Snow Depth measurements. Times are in UTC.

The hourly data shows the 28cm of snow fell on Jump Creek over the evening and last night. (near Nanaimo Lakes)

The value they track is Snow Water Equivalent rather than snow depth.  So the graph below should update later today to show just the tiniest lift in the dark blue line as the hourly data is reporting 20mm of snow water, but it hasn’t updated yet.spd3b23p-3


Don’t get too excited though.  Average snow water equipvalent for this time of year is closer to 1000mm.  So Thursday’s small system delivered only 2% of that average. But lets hope it is the start of a trend.

Breezy today – Pattern of foggy/cool mornings warm/sunny afternoons returning?

There is some breeziness happening right now on the East and West Coasts of the Island as the last remnants of the front pass through but this should end fairly soon.

The models are a little uncertain, but the general consensus seems to be that we will be back to a pattern of foggy and cold mornings, possibly going below zero, with the fog breaking by noon and sunny and warm afternoons getting into the 10ºC-15ºC range.

Here is Friday and Saturday from the Canadian high resolution short term model.  We might dip below freezing tonight as the clouds clear but it should be warm again tomorrow and it doesn’t actually predict any fog.  We’ll see.Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 9.15.45 AM



This agrees well with the temperature forecast from the UWash model for Saturday afternoon which has us up to 15ºC.





It also agrees with the multi-model analysis showing mild temperatures through the weekend though the lows start to drop below freezing by Monday or Tuesday.Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 9.16.08 AM



Light showers on Sunday evening.

There is a risk of some light showers on Sunday evening.  Perhaps a little more snow for the snowpack station.  Don’t expect any of it to fall as snow anywhere other than the Mountain ranges.  But again, it won’t be very much.

wa_pcp3.63.0000Looking long range into March, the brief cold spell gives way to very mild temperatures even though the outliers do have some colder temperatures.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 9.22.27 AM

Have a great weekend everyone!

Showers by noon. More Thursday night. No snowpack help. Warm Arctic Cold Continent

The streak of foggy mornings and clear afternoons is coming to an end today.

By noon we should have some light showers falling in the Valley.

Light showers over the central island between 11-12.
Light showers over the central island between 11-12.

The showers should last through the evening and end before Thursday morning.  However, there will be another slightly stronger pullse of showers coming Thursday evening as well.

it will begin with scattered showers in the afternoon and evening and then transition to stronger showers around 8PM.


In all though it should only amount to around 10-15mm of rain at most.

No change likely for the Snowpack

No real snowfall accumulations in the mountains before Saturday.
No real snowfall accumulations in the mountains before Saturday.

As you can see above, here is only a tiny amount of snowfall predicted for the higher elevations amounting to maybe 2 inches of snow.  Unfortunately, that will not be nearly enough to really make an impact on what is still a zero snowpack on the South Island.


Wondering why so warm here, so cold back East? It’s the jetstream, warm Arctic, cold continents.

Longtime readers of this blog should know why we are having the weather we are.  We have seen it before in various forms.  I’ve written about it before…. as far back as 2 years ago.

As this CBC report stated back on Friday:

A persistent, quasi-stationary high pressure system off the West Coast has caused the jet stream to flow from the northwest down into the southeast, helping to bring frigid temperatures that have shattered cold weather records in Ontario and Quebec, according to a meteorologist at Environment Canada.

This was what the jet stream looked like this past Saturday.



Dramatic bending.

Here is what it looked like across the continent.


See the big bend on our side and then the huge dip into the United States and then sharp turn up along the Atlantic coast.

This is continuing to inform the recent hypothesis emanating from people like Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University that this weather is being caused by the warming of the Arctic and resulting lessening in temperature differences between high and mid latitudes causing more ‘wavy’ and slower transitioning jet stream patterns.


Wherever the bend in the jet stream happens to be is where either the cold Arctic or warm tropical air fills in the space and leads to abnormally warm and dry, or cold and wet (or in winter, snowy) weather.

This is our changing climate.  We are living climate change.  And we are the cause.  Don’t be fooled by those paid by the fossil fuel industry who might try to tell you the sun is responsible, or that we humans are too insignificant.

This article about Willie Soon and the state of science coming from the handful of climate “sceptics” is very good.

There have been a few scientists out there who profess skepticism about the state of climate science who also, by many measures, are good at their jobs (I’m thinking of someone like Richard Lindzen or, more recently, Judith Curry). They can have a role to play, if they are honest about that role. But the problem is that for the last couple of decades there have only been a few of these scientists. Everyone else (like ex-skeptic Richard Muller) has already been convinced by the data that climate change is real, and we are its cause. And yet, in the circus that now stands in for a real debate about our climate options, the few skeptical voices left get amplified past the point of distortion regardless of their quality.

Which brings us to Willie Soon.

Oh, just to drive the point home….

Consider this map.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.53.24 AM

Windsor, Ontario, the southern most City in the country, set a new record low temperature yesterday of -18.7ºC (old record -15.1ºC in 1993) while Komakuk Beach at the very north west tip of Yukon Territory was a spring like at just -3.7ºC.  The station at Ivvavick national park which Komakuk Beach is within actually set a new high yesterday at -3.1ºC.  This broke the high of -6.4ºC in 2011.