Fri. Dec 14th, 2018

Spotty snow today – when will it warm up?

  • Vancouver Island Inland Sections Forecast - WIND WARNING IN EFFECT
    Issued: 3:52 PM PST Friday 14 December 2018

    Forecast Issued 4:00 PM PST Friday 14 December 2018 - Friday night: Rain ending this evening then cloudy with 40 percent chance of showers. Wind east 30 km/h becoming southwest 50 gusting to 90 early this evening then light late this evening. Low plus 3. Saturday: Cloudy. 40 percent chance of showers in the morning. Rain beginning near noon. High 6. Saturday night: Rain. Temperature steady near plus 5. Sunday: Rain. High 6. Sunday night: Rain. Low 6. Monday: Rain. High 7. Monday night: Rain. Low 6. Tuesday: Rain. High 7. Tuesday night: Rain. Low 7. Wednesday: Rain. High 8. Wednesday night: Rain. Low plus 5. Thursday: Periods of rain. High 7.

  • Current Conditions
    6.7° C
    -0.3 ° C/hr
    100.2 kPa
    S 14.5 km/h
    gusting 29.0 km/h
    80 %
    Rain Rate
    0.0 mm/hr
    Wind Chill
    4.0° C
    Heat Index
    6.7° C
    3.5° C
    0 W/m2
    Last Updated: 20:05:00 PST
    Click to Refresh or See All Conditions
  • Day Almanac
    Day's Rain
    43.9 mm
    Day ET
    0.0 mm mm
    Rain Storm
    NotAvailable mm
    Civil Rise
    Moon Phase
    First quarter (47% full)
    Civil Set
    Day Length
    Day High
    10.6° C @ 00:00 Tdy.
    Day Low
    6.4° C @ 17:54 Tdy.
    Day High Rain Rate
    9.1mm/hr @ 08:02 Tdy.
    Day High Barometer
    100.36 kPa @ 00:00 Tdy.
    Day Low Barometer
    99.05 kPa @ 14:44 Tdy.
    Day Low Windchill
    0.3° C @ 17:37 Tdy.
    Day High Heat Index
    10.6° C @ 00:00 Tdy.
    Day High Wind Gust
    S 39.7km/h @ 17:30 Tdy.
    Day High Solar Radiation
    32W/m2 @ 14:11 Tdy.
    Day High UV Index
    0.0 @ 00:00 Tdy.

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:


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.


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. 🙂