February Summary – The drought breaks, old man winter comes late

  • Vancouver Island Inland Sections Forecast - No watches or warnings in effect.

    Forecast Issued 11:00 AM PDT Sunday 22 April 2018 - Sunday: Mainly sunny. High 15. UV index 4 or moderate. Sunday night: Clear. Low plus 1. Monday: Mainly sunny. High 18. Monday night: Cloudy periods. Low plus 4. Tuesday: A mix of sun and cloud. High 19. Tuesday night: Clear. Low plus 5. Wednesday: Sunny. High 23. Wednesday night: Clear. Low 6. Thursday: Sunny. High 25. Thursday night: Clear. Low 7. Friday: Sunny. High 19. Friday night: Cloudy periods. Low 9. Saturday: A mix of sun and cloud. High 15.

  • Current Conditions
    Temperature
    15.7° C
    1.5 ° C/hr
    Barometer
    102.9 kPa
    0.0
    Wind
    NW 0.3 km/h
    gusting 9.7 km/h
    Humidity
    41 %
    Rain Rate
    0.0 mm/hr
    Wind Chill
    15.7° C
    Heat Index
    15.7° C
    Dewpoint
    2.5° C
    UV
    4.3
    Solar
    880 W/m2
    Last Updated: 14:35:00 PDT
    Click to Refresh or See All Conditions
  • Day Almanac
    Day's Rain
    0.0 mm
    Day ET
    0.0 mm mm
    Rain Storm
    NotAvailable mm
    Civil Rise
    05:38
    Moon Phase
    First quarter (50% full)
    Civil Set
    20:58
    Day Length
    13:17:39
    Day High
    15.7° C @ 14:34 Tdy.
    Day Low
    2.0° C @ 04:45 Tdy.
    Day High Rain Rate
    0.0mm/hr00:05
    Day High Barometer
    103.17 kPa @ 08:13 Tdy.
    Day Low Barometer
    102.9 kPa @ 14:29 Tdy.
    Day Low Windchill
    2.0° C @ 04:45 Tdy.
    Day High Heat Index
    15.7° C @ 14:34 Tdy.
    Day High Wind Gust
    S 8.5km/h @ 13:30 Tdy.
    Day High Solar Radiation
    914W/m2 @ 13:31 Tdy.
    Day High UV Index
    4.7 @ 13:07 Tdy.

Historic drought eases but remains below normal very cold temperatures meant snow!


February, which usually is our first break from the wet monsoons of November, December and January, this year acted as a bit of a saviour. After months of historic dryness, we received a normal amount of precipitation. And much of it in the form of snow at higher elevations both in the City and in the mountains.


Snowpack recovering, but still low.

The BC River Forecast Centre now shows that the snowpack at the Jump Creek measuring site south of Mt. Arrowsmith has recovered to about half of normal. Here it was at the end of January:
20140203-075312.jpg
And here it is now as of March 4th:

20140304-065347.jpg

This will make a lot of agencies breathe a lot easier, but it’s still far from ‘normal’ so hopefully this weeks rain will increase it more.


More snow meant more cold. How’s your heating bill?

Temperatures were generally way below normal for the month. The normal average temperature through February is 3° C at the Airport and almost 4° C in town. We were way below that with an average at the City stations of only 1.2° C and 1.0° C at the Airport. Both the minimum and maximum daily temperature were around 2° C below normal. So if your heating bill is a little higher than it normally is for February, that is likely why.


It’s almost spring!
Meteorologically, spring started on March 1st. Astronomically, we have another few weeks to go. But I believe this spring might be a real mixed bag. With the Polar Vortex continuing its regular visits out East, that’s going to give us the potential for both very warm weather when the jetstream flies far above us before diving into the East, and cold and snowy weather when the Vortex shifts just a little West and allows Arctic air to spill out of the a Interior and onto the Coast.

We might be in for a wild ride.



Average Daily Temperature for February:
Changes for 2014 and onwards:
We are using only 1981-2010 ‘normals’ and ‘averages’
We are grouping the official “Airport” records with Robertson Creek “normals” and my and other city stations with the old “A” station because of significant differences in values and locations.

City Station Ave. Difference from Somass 1981-2010 normal: -2.62° C
Official (Airport) Difference from Robertson Creek 1981-2010 normal: -2.03° C
Environment Canada Airport: 1.0° C
Alberniweather:1.3° C
Alberni Elementary:1.2° C
Maquinna: 0.9° C
Neptune Canada: 1.4° C
Overall City Average: 1.2° C
1981-2000 Environment Canada Normal (A – Somass): 3.82° C
1981-2010 Environment Canada Normal (Robertson Creek): 3.03° C

Average Minimum Daily Temperature for February:
City Station Ave. Difference from Somass 1981-2010 normal: -1.92° C
Official (Airport) Difference from Robertson Creek 1981-2010 normal: -2.42° C
EC: -3.0° C
Alberniweather: -1.7° C
AES: -1.9° C
MAQ: -1.7° C
NEP: -1.4° C
Overall City Average: -1.68° C
1981-2000 Environment Canada Normal (A – Somass): 0.24° C
1981-2010 Environment Canada Normal (Robertson Creek): -0.58° C

Average Maximum Daily Temperature for December:
City Station Ave. Difference from Somass 1981-2010 normal: -2.24° C
Official (Airport) Difference from Robertson Creek 1981-2010 normal: -1.79° C
EC: 4.8° C
Alberniweather: 5.3° C
AES: 5.2° C
MAQ: 4.5° C
NEP: 5.4° C
Overall City Average: 5.12° C
1981-2000 Environment Canada Normal (A – Somass): 7.36° C
1981-2010 Environment Canada Normal (Robertson Creek): 6.59° C

Average Precipitation for December:
City Station Ave. Difference from Somass 1981-2010 normal: -1.71 mm (99% normal)
Official (Airport) Difference from Robertson Creek 1981-2010 normal: 23.33 mm (110% of normal)
EC: 246.0 mm
Alberniweather: 226.1 mm
AES: 216.4 mm
MAQ: 256.4 mm
NEP: NA (not measured)
Overall City Average: 232.9 mm
1981-2000 Environment Canada Normal (A – Somass): 234.61 mm
1981-2010 Environment Canada Normal (Robertson Creek): 222.67 mm

Comparison to recent February’s at Alberniweather (only).

2013:
Very cold in comparison to last February, we had barely any snow at all last year. This Year, we got most of it in an unlikely month.

2012:
Colder this year and wetter.

2011:
2011 was similar in coldness but not as active on the rain and snow front.

2010:
February 2010, the time of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver was an El Niño, and it was very warm. It was quite tropical like Sochi, but it did present some snow challenges like there were at Sochi as well. Had Vancouver hosted the games this year, it would have felt a lot more like winter!

2009:
February 2009 was similar in cold to this year but much drier (only 50mm). It’s a good thing we didn’t have a repeat.

2008:
We were colder and wetter this year than 2008.