Remember November? Before the snow… it rained, forever!

There are 30 days in November.  It rained on 28 of them.  This is right after it rained 29 out of the 31 days which appeared to be the most since 1963.  So in total it has rained 57 of a possible 61 days when it rained in the past two months! While October did seem to be some sort of record for days of rain, November was not. The most recent time with more days of rain was November 2006 when we had 29 out of 30 days with measurable rain at the Airport.  This isn’t a huge surprise since November is generally our wettest month.

Surprisingly, even though it seemed to be raining every minute of every day, we did not set a rainfall record officially for either October or November.  The Airport station again seems to be having problems recording consistently and is missing 3 days of rain records but there is great news on that front!

So not only is our station at the Airport hopefully going to be all fixed up and reliable again, we will now be able to measure snow as well! Bonus!

We set a whole bunch of records for both rain and warmth!  We set 5 new warm records for the Airport station and 3 new rain records. And of those rain records we set one all-time record for November 2nd of 89mm!

It’s looking like we might get cooler and snowier over the next few months as La Niña continues.

Read on below!

River and Drought Conditions

River streamflow conditions have not updated since October.  BC River Forecast Centre site. 

The overall Drought Level picture is not a problem. 🙂

Snowpack Situation


Good News! We are tracking at or only slightly below the normal snowpack for this time of year (the grey line).  Lets hope that continues!

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

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

16 day Outlook — Dry, then rainy or snowy Christmas?

Here are the 16-day GEPS consensus graphs from SpotX.  It is definitely drying out but things will get interesting next week, the week before Christmas. I am learning toward a green Christmas, as it has a forecast high around 5ºC.  But you never know… the uncertainty in that second week, particularly Christmas weekend is pretty large, especially on the low side!


El Niño/La Niña Discussion:

The latest El Niño status bulletin from the NOAA is from December 8.  They have switched from a neutral to a slight La Niña forecast.

ENSO Alert System Status: La Niña Advisory
Synopsis: La Niña conditions are present, with a transition to ENSO-neutral favored during January-March 2017.

La Niña conditions persisted during November, with negative sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies present across most of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific [Fig. 1].

Atmospheric convection remained suppressed over the central tropical Pacific and enhanced over part of Indonesia [Fig. 5]. The low-level easterly winds remained enhanced in the west-central tropical Pacific, and upper-level westerly winds persisted across the tropical Pacific. However, these signals were masked at times by intra-seasonal activity. Overall, the ocean and atmosphere system during November reflected a continuation of weak La Niña conditions.

The multi-model averages favor La Niña (3-month average Niño-3.4 index ≤ -0.5°C) to continue through December – February (DJF) 2016-17 [Fig. 6].

In summary, La Niña conditions are present, with a transition to ENSO-neutral favored during January – March 2017.

La Niña is anticipated to affect temperature and precipitation across the United States during the upcoming months.

The current seasonal outlook for DJF 2016-17 favors … below-average temperatures and above-median precipitation in portions of the northern tier of the U.S.

Note the portion of the northern tier of the US that we are closest to is likely to get below-normal precipitation and normal temperatures.   See more detail in the following below.

Three-Month North America Forecasts 

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

The Temperatures for the next 3 months.

The January/February/March forecast is surprisingly normal for the West Coast!  That’s the most white/normal area I ever remember seeing in one forecast map.

You will see below that the November/December/January forecast was well above normal.  We did get that in November but this cold snap put the breaks on that.

What I would take from the picture below is that while it will technically be “normal” it will probably *feel* colder than normal because we have had so many months and years of well above normal temperatures.

Previous forecast for NOV/DEC/JAN


Precipitation Forecast.

The forecast has shifted from a normal or a little wet over most of North America  in the Nov/Dec/Jan timeframe to wetter over most of that area in the January/February/March timeframe except the West Coast.  The West Coast has a band of much drier than normal along the coast.

This might again indicate cooler temperatures as dry skies usually means high pressure and cold temperatures at this time of year. The East side of the continent goes from mostly normal to much wetter, or snowier than normal.  Given the cooling off of the temperature anomaly over the whole country indicated above, I would lean toward a very snowy winter for most of Canada except the West Coast where we might be having our snowpack accumulate early and then stop.

Previous forecast for NOV/DEC/JAN



Global seasonal forecasts

Global Temp and Precip Spring, Summer, Fall and/or Winter forecast from current and last month runs. Only 1 of 2 seasons are within the forecasts in any given month.

This months forecasts: Winter 2016 and Spring 2017

Spring 2017 – Not sweltering Hot



Here are the latest runs for March/April/May Spring 2017.  It looks like the models expect La Niña to take a pretty firm grip as temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere especially cool a little and precipitation picks up in the Western Equatorial Pacific.

October’s version of Spring 2017:

nmme_ensemble_tmp2m_season5 nmme_ensemble_prate_season5

North America looks not quite as overly warm as the winter months particularly in the North West parts of Canada.  And precipitation is normal across the continent.  This likely will ‘feel’ like a cool spring then since our most recent springs have been quite warm.

Hints at Summer 2017:

The First Summer (June July August) outlooks won’t come out until next month but here is a sneak peek using the May/June/July periods.  It’s looking not too overly hot but is indicating drier than normal conditions which might again lead to forest fire concerns.


Sea Surface Temperature next 3 months

Here is an interesting potential bright spot.  The blob seems to have definitely gone away and in its place we some very cool waters stretching across the East and Central north Pacific.  This would be expected to bring less rain (less evaporation) and perhaps better conditions for local fish stocks headed out to sea.  Certainly a big switch from the past few years of ‘warm blobs’.


Last month’s forecast picture: Nov/Dec/Jan


That’s it!

Monthly Timelapse Video

This month I installed a new Gyroptic 360º webcam!  You can see the live stream at and it archives the real time videos automatically on Youtube.  I will be making improvements over the coming months to add a timestamp to the stream as well as archive it in a more structured (daily, monthly etc) way.  This summer I will install it on top of the roof of my home so you can see a full 360º view of the entire City!

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

One new ALL TIME rain record, three new Airport rain records and five high temperature 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.

September 2016  Minimum, Mean, and High Average Temp and Total Precipitation

See October’s and last November’s summary.

Alberniweather6.1º C, 7.9º C, 10.1º C435.1 mm
Alberni Elem. School : 5.9º C, 7.9º C, 10.2° C, 594.1 mm
Maquinna Elem. School5.6º C, 7.4º C, 9.8° C, 697.3 mm
Nick’s Station 
(Maquinna area): 5.5º C7.3º C9.3° C423.2 mm
Neptune Canada Station: 6.1º C7.8º C9.9° C, NA
Overall City Average: 5.8º C, 7.7º C, 9.9º C 537.4 mm
Environment Canada Airport* : 5.2º C, 7.4° C, 9.6º C520.6 mm*

Normal 1981-2010 (Rbrstn Creek)1.8º C 4.6º C 7.3° C 345.2 mm

*Denotes missing data for 23rd and missing precipitation numbers for 23rd, 25th, 27th and 28th days this month.

Differences from Normal at Robertson Creek

+4.0° C, +3.1º C, +2.6º C, +192.2 mm (156.7% of normal)
Official Airport
 +3.4º C, +2.8º C, +2.3º C, +175.4 mm (150.8% of normal)*
*Denotes missing precipitation numbers for 5 days this month.

Days of Precipitation for November 2016*

Amount : Normal Days : Days This Month
>= 0.2 mm: 21.8 :  28
>= 5 mm:  13.7 : 21
>= 10 mm: 11 : 19
>= 25 mm: 5.2 : 11

*4 Days Missing Data.  Filled in missing official days with data from Alberniweather and Cox Lake to get complete set. If amounts did not agree, I took the amount closer to the threshold.

Alberniweather and Cox Lake used for:

  • 23rd: 28.5 mm / 56.0 mm
  • 25th: 6.9 mm / 21.2 mm
  • 27th: 10.4 mm / 16.6 mm
  • 28th: 0 mm / 0 mm

Comparison to recent months of November at Alberniweather


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