While there weren’t many big dumps of snow last month, it was still a good deal wetter than usual.
According to a monthly roundup of statistics from the Southeast Fire Centre in Castlegar, there was 61 per cent more snow and 85 per cent more rain than normal.
The airport saw 89.2 cm of snow compared to the typical 55.4 cm and 48.6 mm of rain versus the average 26.2 mm. The greatest single day accumulation of snow was 20 cm on the 12th. The one-day record for the month is43.7 cm set in 1969.
The overall precipitation of 128 mm was still well short of the record high of 170.4 mm in 2006. The record low of 9 mm was set in 1985.
“2016 started off with a strong ridge of high pressure over the area and a cold, dry and stable (modified Arctic) airmass in the valleys of the West Kootenay,” forecasters Jesse Ellis and Ron Lakeman wrote.
The lowest temperature of the month was minus-9.9 degrees before sunrise on New Year’s Day. However, thatArctic air never returned to the area for the rest of the month, which the forecasters said was a big reason why the average monthly temperature was 1.5 degrees warmer than normal — typical of an El Nino winter.
“A shift towards a milder and more active pattern occurred the night of the 3rd and continued out to the end of the month,” they said.
The highest temperature of the month was 4.8 degrees on the 24. The record high is 10 degrees on Jan. 16, 1974. The record low is minus-25.7 on Jan. 1, 1979.