Spotty snow today – when will it warm up?

  • Vancouver Island Inland Sections ForecastNo watches or warnings in effect.

    Forecast Issued 4:00 PM PST Tuesday 23 January 2018 Tuesday night: Showers. Low plus 3. Wednesday: A few showers ending in the morning then cloudy. A few showers beginning late in the afternoon. High plus 5. Wednesday night: Showers. Low plus 2. Thursday: Showers. High plus 4. Thursday night: Showers. Low plus 2. Friday: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. High plus 5. Friday night: Rain. Low plus 1. Saturday: Rain. High plus 5. Saturday night: Rain. Low plus 5. Sunday: Rain. High 8. Sunday night: Rain. Low plus 4. Monday: Rain. High 8.

  • Today’s conditions as of 48 years ago at 11:33 am on December 31, 1969

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    N 49° 14′ 46.1″ :: W 124° 47′ 60″ at 30 m Google View

That is the question. When will it warm up enough that there is no threat of snow?

Well, clearly this morning it’s not warm enough because it was snowing as I stepped out the door (and sticking to the sidewalk). This seems to be how we often get through these events in the Valley. Our geography locks in the cool air and our habit of getting strong precipitation gives us the opportunity to have more of that precipitation fall as snow as the heavy rate drags down the temperature.

What I think we might be missing this time around, is the heavy rate. The system as it looks on satellite and is forecast in the models is looking pretty timid.

Take this morning’s precipitation charts:

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Between 7-10AM it’s only showing at most 2mm of moisture at higher elevations around the region. This has caused and might cause more light snow to fall, but real accumulation seems unlikely, and once the sun rises it is unlikely to keep the temperature down much which might turn it to showers instead.

But don’t lose hope. Tomorrow morning looks a bit different.

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We see double or more (4-8mm) today’s precipitation amounts over 3 hour periods lasting through the day, especially in the early morning and early evening.

As long as we stay below 2°C through the day and especially evening tonight then the rainfall should be able to drag that temperature down and give us wet, and accumulating, snow.

So expect some flurries this morning, but nothing to worry about. And tomorrow morning, I expect wet snow at times, amounting to 5cm or more the further you are from the Inlet or higher up you are.

By Thursday evening it is much more likely that we will be overcome by the warm winds of the pacific and be near 5C. So any snow on the ground may not last the night. That will be the end of the cold weather for now. We should get more rain, and temperatures around 5C Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday.

Still nearly two weeks until Christmas, a lot can change in that time. 🙂