Despite appearances to the contrary, last month was actually wetter than average — it’s just that most of the precipitation came as rain, not snow.
According to a roundup of weather statistics from the Southeast Fire Centre, warmer temperatures and a predominantly northwesterly, westerly or southwesterly flow originating over the Pacific Ocean caused most of the month’s precipitation to fall as rain. In all, 58.5 mm of rain fell at the Castlegar airport, more than twice the typical 28.1 mm.
The total snowfall was only 27 per cent of normal. The bulk of the month’s snow (six out of seven centimeters) fell during the night of the 3rd as a cool Pacific system pushed eastward over the area. Typical snowfall for February is 25.7 cm.
High pressure remained in control until the 11th, after which a series of frontal systems brought rain each day until the 19th. High pressure regained control until the 25th before a more active pattern brought another round of rain to finish off the month, with a few wet flurries at times.
For the second month in a row, no Arctic air made it into the area. This led to above average temperatures most days (the average temperature was 2.8 degrees above normal). The highest temperature of the month (14.1 degrees) occurred on the 27th, breaking the daily record set in 1972 while falling just short of the monthly record of 14.3 degrees from 2010. Three other maximum daily temperature records and four maximum mean temperature records were broken.
The lowest temperature of the month was minus-7.7 on the 7th, falling well short of the record low of minus-21.5 set on Feb. 5, 2014.