Wed. Apr 24th, 2019

“Strait Effect” snow on the way

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

    Forecast Issued 06:14 AM PDT Wednesday 24 April 2019 - Wednesday: Clearing this morning. Fog patches dissipating this morning. High 16. UV index 5 or moderate. Wednesday night: Clear. Low plus 2. Thursday: Sunny. Increasing cloudiness late in the morning. High 16. UV index 6 or high. Thursday night: Clear. Low plus 3. Friday: A mix of sun and cloud. High 18. Friday night: Clear. Low plus 3. Saturday: Sunny. High 14. Saturday night: Clear. Low zero. Sunday: Sunny. High 17. Sunday night: Clear. Low plus 3. Monday: Sunny. High 15. Monday night: Clear. Low plus 4. Tuesday: A mix of sun and cloud. High 16.

  • Current Conditions
    Temperature
    10.3° C
    1.5 ° C/hr
    Barometer
    102.8 kPa
    0.0
    Wind
    NW 3.2 km/h
    gusting 8.0 km/h
    Humidity
    75 %
    Rain Rate
    0.0 mm/hr
    Wind Chill
    10.3° C
    Heat Index
    10.3° C
    Dewpoint
    6.0° C
    UV
    1.1
    Solar
    288 W/m2
    Last Updated: 8:45:00 PST
    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
    05:34
    Moon Phase
    Waning gibbous (71% full)
    Civil Set
    21:01
    Day Length
    13:17:21
    Day High
    10.3° C @ 08:41 Tdy.
    Day Low
    6.7° C @ 05:52 Tdy.
    Day High Rain Rate
    0.0mm/hr00:00
    Day High Barometer
    102.8 kPa @ 08:44 Tdy.
    Day Low Barometer
    102.46 kPa @ 00:00 Tdy.
    Day Low Windchill
    6.7° C @ 05:52 Tdy.
    Day High Heat Index
    10.3° C @ 08:41 Tdy.
    Day High Wind Gust
    S 3.2km/h @ 08:40 Tdy.
    Day High Solar Radiation
    294W/m2 @ 08:44 Tdy.
    Day High UV Index
    1.1 @ 08:41 Tdy.

Last nights beautiful clear and cold break has set us up nicely for, I think, a bit of “Strait Effect” snow.

Update There is a Snowfall warming for East Coast of Vancouver Island, up to 15cm of snow tonight through tomorrow.

Over the next 24 hours a low is going to develop off of the West Coast of the Island and gradually move south. This will pull cold air out of the Interior, and across the Strait of Georgia.

BC Highway cam at Black Creek shows there has already been some snow fall there (north of Courtenay).

As the low develops and deepens a little the winds should become a little more persistent from the North and North East, drag over the air across the Strait, pick up moisture, and dump it onto the East Coast.

Whether Port Alberni gets any of that remains to be seen. EC is calling for 5-10cm. But personally I would say the East Coast is more likely to get the high end of that and we are more likely to get the low end. Sometimes we are included in the Strait effect stuff, other times the Beauforts act as a pretty effective block and we just get the cold air pouring over the Comox glacier instead. Most likely spots for significant accumulations will be from Cameron Lake to Coombs with possibly Parksville and Nanaimo as well.

Most likely times for heaviest snowfall should be early-mid Friday morning… the key will be whether it stays cold enough for snow. The Canadian model doesn’t think so. The GFS does… we’ll see who wins.

Here is the Canadian forecast model for 7AM Friday morning. Notice the low right off of the Island, headed south, with tight isobars on the North East side which should draw some moderate winds over the Strait.

22 thoughts on ““Strait Effect” snow on the way

  1. This surprises me a bit – I wasn’t expecting the outflow winds bringing strait effect snow, Bring it on!

  2. It is partly cloudy, high cloud, with whisps of clear sky here in Nanaimo. However there are very impressive, billowy clouds building in the middle of the Strait. Quite a jolly line of them stretching from Texada south towards Vancouver. Perhaps harbingers of what’s to come 🙂

  3. Just started snowing in North Cowichan. Coming down pretty hard but not sure how long it will last, looks like some hit and miss showers today, especially during the early part of the day. I am also a little surprised by the straight effect snow forecast. We usually need some real arctic air to really get the straight fired up. Its the temperature contrast between ocean and air that helps increase the snowfall amounts. My guess would be that the atmosphere is unstable enough that it is only going to take some marginally cold air to create the snow.

  4. I’m at my office downtown PA and 10 minutes ago it started snowing very heavily. No webcam on the Hump right now, but it looks like Cowichan is the only other place with snow!

  5. There is a very grey cloud moving in from the West over Nanaimo…. it’s a cloud that hollers *snow*.

    Wow look at the harbour webcam!

  6. UPDATE: The Hump is a nightmare! people are stopping in to the Visitor Centre and telling me that vehicles are all over the place. Sutton Pass is likely worse. Please don’t go over if you can help it. You will be stuck for a while…..Be safe!

  7. All I’m seeing is south and south east winds over the strait, temps between 3 and 5 degrees near the water. We are going to need those winds to switch to the east and northeast to get any strait effect happening

    1. well ‘strait effect’ or not doesn’t change the fact that there is snow on the ground in Port, and that the hump is closed

      1. You’re right Chris, and it still looks really ugly up there. In hindsight though, I think this wasn’t strait effect at all, but just part of that slowwly moving low sliding down the coast.

  8. Ya certainly wasn’t expecting all this…. the hump is a disaster right now.

    And it looks according to the Satellite picture like there is a bit more moisture ready to push in off the west coast before the low finally moves south and the winds shift.

    Quite a day!

      1. Me too Bill B, what’s up for tomorrow? The wind just changed direction and it is snowing again…..from the North.

        1. Who knows? That’s why it’s so much fun! Environment Canada says 5-10 cm overnight, but the GFS looks like there isn’t much more precip coming and it’ll all be over by 7 or 8 in the morning.

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