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Winter still drier than usual

January was wetter than December, but still drier than normal, according to the latest local weather stats. - Samuel Dobrin photo
January was wetter than December, but still drier than normal, according to the latest local weather stats.
— image credit: Samuel Dobrin photo

West Kootenay’s mini-drought continued last month.

We received more precipitation in January than in December, but it was still only 72 per cent of normal.

According to stats from the Southeast Fire Centre’s weather office in Castlegar, about 48 centimetres of snow fell, compared to the average of 57.

The total amount of rain was far less than average — less than seven millimetres compared to the typical 23.

Wetness of one form or another was measured on 16 days of the month.

“The most significant precipitation during the month (18.4 centimeters of snow) was due to a large Pacific frontal system during the late afternoon of the 20th through the morning of the 21st,” forecasters Ron Lakeman and Jesse Ellis wrote in their monthly summary.

The record for most snow in January was set in 1969 when nearly 186 centimeters fell, while the record for most rain (74 millimeters) and most overall precipitation (170 millimetres) was established in 2006.

In December, we received only 46 per cent of the month’s normal precipitation.

Temperatures last month averaged out slightly milder than normal, largely due to warmer daytime highs.

“A modified Arctic airmass did seep into the area during the 18th and 19th and lingered into the 20th but when combined with clouds and occasional light snow the local temperature dropped to –10,” the forecasters wrote.

The coldest temperature of the month, –13.4, occurred with relatively clear skies on the night of the 11th. Two record daily highs of 7.1 and 6.1 degrees were set on the 5th and 26th, respectively.

The warmest temperature of the month was 7.4 degrees on the afternoon of the 25th.

Meanwhile, two out of three leading Canadian groundhogs agree an early spring is in the offing: Ontario’s Wiarton Willie and Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam both failed to see their shadows this morning. However, Alberta’s Balzac Billy is predicting six more weeks of winter.

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