The Warmup that Never Happened – The Freeze up that Will

  • Vancouver Island Inland Sections Forecast - SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT IN EFFECT
    Issued: 4:43 PM PST Thursday 22 February 2018

    Forecast Issued 4:00 PM PST Thursday 22 February 2018 - Thursday night: Clear. Increasing cloudiness after midnight. Low minus 5. Friday: Cloudy. Snow beginning early in the morning. Snow mixed with rain late in the afternoon. Snowfall amount 5 to 10 cm. High plus 2. Friday night: Light snow mixed with drizzle changing to flurries in the evening and ending overnight then cloudy. Local snowfall amount 2 to 4 cm. Low minus 3. Saturday: A mix of sun and cloud. High 8. Saturday night: Periods of rain or snow. Low zero. Sunday: Showers. High plus 5. Sunday night: Cloudy periods with 40 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 2. Monday: A mix of sun and cloud. High 8. Monday night: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of rain showers or flurries. Low plus 1. Tuesday: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. High 7. Tuesday night: Cloudy with 40 percent chance of rain showers or flurries. Low plus 1. Wednesday: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. High 7.

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So did we all enjoy yesterday’s little surprise? We might have another, perhaps more dangerous, surprise today and tomorrow. More below:

I know more than a few that didn’t enjoy yesterday.

What we had yesterday was what we were expecting a few weeks ago but never happened. A bunch of cold air got trapped in the Alberni Valley and instead of maybe a little wet snow flying followed by a bunch of rain, we got enough snow to cause 4 hours or so of chaos (5cm) and then a whole bunch of rain to turn it all into a flooding mess. Thankfully it doesn’t look like the City had any ill effects from the rapid melt.

Here are three temperature graphs from the Islandweather.ca network.
AlberniWeather.day.temperature
AlberniElementary.day.temperature

VIU.day.temperature

Alberniweather, Alberni Elementary School, and Vancouver Island University. The two Alberni stations show brief hints at warmth late on Tuesday but both quickly returned to their posts near or just above freezing (and so did the Airport). By contrast, VIU started warming much earlier in the day and hit over 7C around midnight and stayed there.

We got a couple little hints at the warm air that was flowing over our heads, but it just never happened. But wait, here’s something even more strange, look at the same graph from Maquinna Elementary:

Maquinna.day.temperature

Ah micro-climates… aren’t they fun?

The danger over the next day or so will be the freeze up. We are still hovering at just above freezing which means much of the snow never really melted especially the parts that did manage to get plowed and piled up.

That means it’s probably going to be melting all day and when the cold comes tonight and tomorrow it is going to freeze.

Beware of icy conditions on Thursday

The Cooldown should begin late Wednesday night. We should start around 0C Thursday Morning and go down from there.

slp.36.0000

There is also some residual moisture in the air which means there is a possibility we will get some more drizzle or flurries over the next 24 hours until things finally clear out and cool off. Thursday, Friday and Saturday all look like pretty clear, crisp winter days. Lets hope they turn out that way and that the ice isn’t too bad.

-6 on Friday! Brrr!