January was warmer and dryer than usual, according to monthly statistics from the Southeast Fire Centre.
“High pressure centered over BC (shifting just offshore at times) dominated the large-scale weather pattern the majority of this [past] month,” explained weather behaviour specialist Ron Lakeman.
As a result, Castlegar and area received only 60 per cent of the normal monthly precipitation — a mere 42.5 millimetres over 13 days.
“Almost two thirds of this month’s total precipitation (and over 80 per cent of the month’s rain) was produced by a series of Pacific systems that passed over the area beginning the night of the 7th, and largely finished by the 11th,” Lakeman added.
Over at Whitewater Ski Resort, January saw a total of 142 cm of snow accumulate on the mountain, with the majority coming in the first half of the month.
There was a 22 cm day on January 3, and the powder gods returned from January 9 to 14 bringing 11 to 21 cm of snow each day.
But for 19 days out of the month, there was no fresh snow recorded by Whitewater.
What the month lacked in precipitation, it made up for in mild weather.
Lakeman said, “The mean temperature this month was 2.7 C milder than normal, largely a result of the fact that a true Arctic outbreak never made it into the area.”
Two daily maximum temperature records were broken on the 11th (9.7 C) and the 13th (7.3 C).
But neither were enough to replace the overall record high for the month, set on January 16, 1974 when the temperature reached 10 C.