January 2017 Summary – Better Late than Never – Cold but not that Cold

More snow… and cool temperatures.

This is a very abbreviated summary since it is a month late! 🙂 Just too much going on lately! I will be posting a full February summary later this morning.

The dominant story for January 2017 was the snow and cold which we had not seen since 2008 and 2009.  The average temperature in January 2008 was actually 0.2ºC which is 0.1º cooler than it was this month.  That said, we have not see this amount of snow in this decade.  While other stations on the Island reported much colder than normal temperatures, ours were not that abnormal for January.  The difference from an average January at Robertson Creek was only 0.6ºC for average temperature, owing completely to the daily lows.  The high temperatures were normal.  Even comparing to the Somass River station “Port Alberni A“, all the stations close to the Inlet registered 4.5ºC average for maximum temperatures, which is exactly the average from the Somass River station that deactivated in the 90s.  We were only 0.4ºC below average on the low side.  So while it felt cold, it really was not so bad.

Environment Canada coincidentally added a new “Snow on Ground” measure to the Airport station.  Unfortunately we have never had this before so we cannot compare historic amounts except anecdotally but from this point on it will provide a very interesting measurement.

So in general temperatures were below normal due to colder than normal low temperatures even though high temperatures were normal.  We had much less rain than normal and a bunch of it fell as snow!

We did set a number of records at the Airport (thus since 1995) but none of them were all-time.  We notably set 4 new low-temperature records at the Airport station but most were far from our all time.  We set one new rain record for the Airport and one new high of 10.1ºC which was the closest we came to an all-time record which was 11.1ºC set January 17, 1920.

That is it for the summary for January because I was a month late getting it out! You can still see all the data and comparisons below!

Monthly Timelapse Video

You can check out the videos at:


Daily records set this month at the Airport and compared to other stations* for “All Time” since 1900.

No All Time Records. One new Airport rain record, four low records and one high temp records.

*Short Term (since 1995) Airport Records are compared to the 30+ year weather stations of record since 1900 (1895 for rain) at Beaver Creek, Port Alberni “City” and Robertson Creek.  Note that records pre 1950 may be more likely to over-estimate high temperatures.

January 2017  Minimum, Mean, and High Average Temp, Total Precipitation and Highest Wind

See December’s and last January’s summary.

Alberniweather-1.1º C, 1.4º C, 4.5º C137.4 mm
High Wind: S 59.5kph on the 18th
Alberni Elem. School : -1.4º C, 1.4º C, 4.5° C, 172.2 mm
High Wind: NW 32kph on the 8th
Maquinna Elem. School: Temp NA, 187.7 mm
High Wind: SE 36kph on the 18th
Nick’s Stati
on (Maquinna area): -0.9º C, 1.0º C3.4° C127.0 mm
High Wind: S 55.5kph on the 17th/SSE 55.5kph on the 18th
Neptune Canada Station-0.6º C, 1.6º C, 4.5° C, NA
High Wind: S 8kph on the 17th/SE 8kph on the 18th
Overall City Average: -1.0º C, 1.4º C, 4.2º C 156.1 mm

Environment Canada Airport* : -2.9º C, 0.3º C3.5° C, 160.8 mm
High Wind: NE 46kph on the 1st

Normal 1981-2010 (Rbrstn Creek)-0.3º C 2.0º C 4.3° C 339.5 mm

*Used Backup Data source at Environment Canada WeatherStats.ca

Differences from Normal at Robertson Creek

-0.7° C, -0.6º C, -0.1º C, -183.4 mm (46.0% of normal)
Official Airport
-2.6° C, -1.7º C, -0.8º C, -178.7 mm (47.0% of normal)

Days of Precipitation for January 2017*

Amount : Normal Days : Days This Month
>= 0.2 mm: 21.6 :  12
>= 5 mm:  13.3 : 6
>= 10 mm: 10.3 : 5
>= 25 mm: 4.9 : 1

*Used Backup Data source at Environment Canada WeatherStats.ca

Comparison to recent months of January at Alberniweather


January 2013 had near identical average temperature of 1.5ºC (vs. 1.4ºC 2017). It had high temperatures lower at 3.3ºC (vs. 4.5ºC) but higher lows at 0.2ºC (vs -1.1ºC).  Rain/Precipitation is difficult to compare as my station is not heated to measure snow melt but the 350mm measured at the Airport is similar to 2013.

River and Drought Conditions

There are no advisories or causes for concern.  BC River Forecast Centre site. 

The overall Drought Level picture is not a problem.

Snowpack Situation

See the February update.

South Island/Jump Creek (near Nanaimo Lakes) elevation 1134m

North Island/Wolf Creek (near Gold River) elevation 1422m.

16 day Outlook — 


See the February update.

El Niño/La Niña Discussion:


See the February Update

Three-Month North America Forecasts 

North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) 3-month Temperature, Precipitation and Sea Surface Temperature.

 February update! 🙂

That’s it!

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