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2012 45% wetter than normal in West Kootenay

So much snow continued fell in Nelson on December 19 and 20 that city buses were taken off the streets. - Sam Van Schie photo
So much snow continued fell in Nelson on December 19 and 20 that city buses were taken off the streets.
— image credit: Sam Van Schie photo

The final tally is in from the wettest year on record in our area: we received 1,089 millimetres of combined rain and snow in 2012, about 45 per cent more than normal. The average temperature of 8.9 degrees was slightly milder than usual.

According to monthly statistics provided by Southeast Fire Centre weather specialists Ron Lakeman and Jesse Ellis, the month got off to a warm and wet start with a record daily high temperature of 10 degrees on December 1. A series of Pacific frontal systems then produced about 85 per cent of the month's total rainfall within the first four days.

Things cooled off by the third week of the month, when most of the snow fell — including a 34 centimetre dump in Castlegar on the 19th that broke the record for most snow in a single day in December.

Total precipitation was nearly 110 mm, although that was little more than half the all-time record set in 1996.

The lowest temperature was –8.8 on the 9th.

The average windspeed was almost as low as it's ever been in December.

Record-keeping at the Castlegar airport dates back to 1966. Nelson-specific data has only been kept since the early 1990s.

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