Welcome to the last day of Fall!
(The winter solstice is officially set for 8:48PM December 21st)
For the first time, we have had a repeat winner in our snow contest! Congratulations to Lynn Ruttan whose guess of 3:05PM Thursday was closest to the time we received 5cm of snow at Alberniweater. Lynn wins a gift from Healthy Habits and Laura J. as the runner up (5:30AM) wins a gift certificate for Boomerangs! Thanks everyone for playing this year.
If you had asked me before the fall how likely it would be for us to have snow for Christmas or even in the mountains, I would have said not very. However, the unexpected track of the jetstream over the past few weeks that has taken it right over or very close to Vancouver Island rather than further north which would be more normal for an El Niño year has meant we’ve received plenty of precipitation and it has broken down “the Blob”. I’ll have more about that in December’s Monthly Summary.
So is it going to snow for Christmas!?
Maybe. Below is what the various models predict. I will update these as the models update today.
First UWash’s “snow depth” graphic for 4PM Christmas Eve (today’s run):
The coverage is clearly within range of us. Especially higher elevations in the Valley.
If the Canadian GEM 10 day forecast is to be believed, we won’t be getting any rain at all between now and Christmas and it will all fall as snow. This has already been proven wrong this morning, so take with an extra large grain of salt.
That said, the US GFS says much the same thing… again, proven wrong this morning as we are getting rain, not snow as is predicted in this graphic.
So. All the models say we are going to get snow while reality at least today seems to show that where they predict snow, we are actually getting rain.
So while the possibility of a white Christmas is definitely there. I wouldn’t hold your breath :). Better to assume it will not happen and be happy when it does than expect it to happen and be disappointed when it doesn’t. As we are often reminded this time of year, our historical chances of a white Christmas in this part of the world are around 10%.
So when we will get stuff falling from the Sky?
It’s much easier to simply predict when stuff will fall from the sky rather than what form it will take. We will be hovering around 1-3ºC over the next many days so expect rain, snow, or sleet anytime stuff is falling:
After this mornings rain clears away in a few hours, precipitation should start again tonight between 6-7PM.
But it will be brief and be gone by sunrise Tuesday morning.
Precipitation will begin again Tuesday after 1PM.
The heavier rain on Tuesday afternoon could lead to bouts of heavy snow, especially at higher elevations. Here is the snow map, showing it might not be a good evening to drive.
Wednesday will be very wet, or snowy, as well and then we will get a break Wednesday night before one last threat of rain/snow on Thursday morning.
Never a dull moment it seems. Have a great Monday and HAPPY WINTER SOLSTICE!