UPDATE: Conjunction! No, not grammar, Planets and the Space Station!


Just found out that not only with the planets Venus and Mars be aligned with the moon but the International Space Station will be paying a visit as well!

Here is a track (details here) for the ISS tonight showing it will be visible from 6:59 to 7:05.  Catch it if you can!  It should be quite near the Venus/Mars/Moon conjunction as it travels from West to the SouthEast.

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A special kind of meeting in the sky.
A special kind of meeting in the sky.

Thanks to Ed Wiebe at of Islandweather.ca fame for passing along the knowledge about this special event that is happening this evening.  A conjunction means that multiple stars or planets or moons are close to each other in the sky… which also means that from the perspective of the viewer, they are basically lined up one-behind-the-other in space.

If the clouds continue to clear and clear fully this afternoon as they are supposed to do (see below) and you look southwest across the Harbour from the Port Alberni side towards Mt. Kiltsa after sundown tonight but while there is still light in the sky, you should see Venus, Mars and the crescent moon all very close together.

Sunset should be around 6:20PM tonight.
Sunset should be around 6:20PM or 18:20.

No matter what, we should see a red sky tonight and it should make for a delightful weekend.

Light showers – Then Dry – Still no Snowpack now or later.

There could be some light showers falling anytime from 7AM to 11AM this morning and then again from around 1PM to sundown.

scattered and light showers this morning.
scattered and light showers this morning.

I would be surprised if we got more than 2mm of rain.

After that, the forecast is bone dry through the weekend and well into next week.

We should get back to sunny skies on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and likely into Tuesday and even Wednesday.

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Snowpack still Zero – Unlikely to Change Soon.

The snowpack on the South Island remains at zero. As you can see from the graph below, by this time last year – which also featured a very late start to the snow – we had one good dump of snow that allowed the snowpack to jump from zero to around 500mm of snow water equivalent or 50% of our average.

We have still not had any such snow events this year in the mountains or elsewhere, and so we remain at zero, which is worse than the “minimum” year recorded on the graph in red.


The long range forecast out to March 6th shows the an average forecast from multiple models of only around 71mm of total precipitation to that date.

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 7.33.40 AMAverage temperatures in that period are hovering, at sea level in Port Alberni, around 5ºC.  Not really cool enough for snow to fall at even those higher elevations.

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I do notice though that in those ultra long time periods, the outlying models seem to be straying to the cold and wet side, so perhaps that is a hopeful sign.  But at this point, that is all it can be taken as.