Coastal B.C. gets winter wallop

Victoria BC

Victoria, BC, 12 Feb 2019 (Royal BC Museum Inner Harbour Webcam)

Wintry weather doesn’t visit the coast of British Columbia very often but it certainly causes disruption when it arrives.

Following back to back snow days, Vancouver has picked up almost 25 cm of snow with higher amounts in the Fraser Valley and Victoria has recorded more than 40 cm.

An Arctic outflow pushing temperatures below freezing combined with low pressure off Vancouver Island is creating snowy rather than more typical rainy conditions.

Traffic and transit services were snarled, schools were cancelled and scattered power outages kept crews busy in the region.

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Unbelievable cold in the West!

COLD

Thermometer reading near Edmonton where Celsius meets Fahrenheit, 05 Feb 2019 (Twitter)

An Arctic air mass has plunged much of Western Canada into the deep freeze with the coldest weather in nearly a decade.

Frigid temperatures have broken records in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia with the wind chill making it feel more like -50 in some areas!

Emergency responders had many calls related to frostbite and hypothermia with seniors and young children being especially vulnerable to the cold.

Auto clubs had almost ten times as many requests from drivers for dead car batteries.

These locations were among new minimums set on 05-06 February 2019:

Key Lake, SK
New record of -47.7
Old record of -44.0 set in 2007
Records started in 1976

Meadow Lake, SK
New record of -43.5
Old record of -41.0 set in 1979
Records started in 1959

Saskatoon, SK
New record of -42.5
Old record of -41.7 set in 1907
Records started in 1900

Grande Prairie, AB
New record of -41.5
Old record of -39.4 set in 1933
Records started in 1922

Edmonton International Airport, AB
New record of -41.2
Old record of -37.2 set in 1975
Records started in 1959

Jasper, AB
New record of -39.4
Old record of -35.7 set in 2014
Records started in 1916

Blue River, BC
New record -35.6
Old record -33.0 set in 1989

Lytton, BC
New record -17.4
Old record -17.2 set in 1949

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Storm ravaged B.C. to get more active weather

Power crews working on restoration efforts in Nanaimo, BC, 25 Dec 2018 (BC Hydro)

Almost 7,000 customers are still without electricity in British Columbia after the most powerful windstorm in 20 years struck the province a week ago.

BC Hydro says most of the remaining outages are in the southern Gulf Islands and those customers should be back on the grid by New Year’s Eve.

At the storm’s peak about 700,000 customers were in the dark after wind gusts of between 90 and 123 km/h were recorded on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

After a brief quiet period over Christmas, the next system is coming this weekend bringing more active weather including rain, snow, and gusty winds.

Canada’s Top 10 Weather Stories 2018

img_2955

Wildfires create smoky sky over downtown Calgary, AB, 14 Aug 2018 (Dearing)

Here is the annual list from Environment Canada:

  1. Record wildfires and smoky summer skies in the West
  2. Summer heat wave from East to West
  3. Tough growing season in the Prairies
  4. Powerful May winds impact Ontario and Quebec
  5. September tornadoes touch down in Ottawa-Gatineau
  6. Spring flooding in southern British Columbia
  7. Historic spring flooding along the St. John River Valley
  8. August deluge in Toronto
  9. Record cold start to a long winter nationwide
  10. Cold and stormy April for the East

 

September snow in Alberta!

Snow falls in Edmonton, AB, 12 Sept 2018 (Instagram)

Cold Arctic air has combined with moisture moving over the Rockies to give Alberta a taste of winter in late summer.

Forecasters say northern Alberta including Edmonton could receive at least 8 cm snow with up to 15 cm in Jasper.

Temperatures are hovering near or slightly below freezing with a plunge to -6°C in northern British Columbia.

Environment Canada says more seasonable weather is not expected to return until early next week.

B.C. wildfire smoke in the Maritimes!

The sun becomes an orange ball due to wildfire smoke, SE Calgary, AB, 14 Aug 2018 (Dearing)

British Columbia is more than 4,000 kilometres away from New Brunswick but that hasn’t stopped forest fire smoke from making its way across Canada.

On Friday afternoon, Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement: A plume of smoke from fires in Western Canada is moving at high altitude across the Maritimes today causing hazy skies and a reddish sun.

This smoke is not expected to reach the surface or affect air quality in our region and the plume will move off to the east tonight.

The British Columbia Wildfire Service says more than 600 fires are burning in the province with many regions still under air quality advisories.

Smoke impacts Alberta air quality

Smoke over downtown Calgary, AB, 14 August 2018 (Dearing)

Smoke from forest fires in British Columbia is streaming into Alberta resulting in poor air quality and reduced visibility.

Environment Canada says smoke conditions can change quickly during wildfires but air quality will be poor for the rest of the week.

Small children, seniors and anyone with chronic conditions are especially at risk.

British Columbia has declared a state of emergency with over 560 out-of-control wildfires forcing 3,000 residents from their homes and another 20,000 are under evacuation alert.

Calgary sets new heat record

Palm tree flourishing in the heat, SE Calgary, AB, 11 August 2018 (Dearing)

Calgary hit an all-time record high on Friday when the thermometer climbed to 36.5°C which eclipsed the previous record of 36.1°C set 85 years ago.

Environment Canada had issued heat warnings for more than 100 regions in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Besides the heat, smoke from forest fires have caused poor air quality throughout Western Canada.

A cold front lowered temperatures in Alberta to near seasonal values for the weekend but the heat lingered in the eastern Prairies.

Major flooding in B.C.

BC FloodingMay 11

Flooding in Grand Forks, BC, 11 May 2018 (Regional District of Kootenay Boundary)

A combination of heavy rain, warm temperatures and rapid snowmelt from the mountains has created major flooding in Interior British Columbia.

About 4,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes mainly in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

At the confluence of two rivers – the Granby and the Kettle – the city of Grand Forks has been hardest hit where firefighters have rescued dozens by boat.

The province has issued evacuation orders or alerts in six other regional districts and eight First Nations.

Officials say this spring’s flooding is worse than the devastating floods of 1948.

Snow cover lingers across Canada

snowApr18
We know it snows in Canada in April but an astonishing amount of snow remains on the ground for the middle of the month.

The only snow-free areas as of 18 April are mainland Nova Scotia, extreme SW Ontario, southern Manitoba, SW Saskatchewan, SE Alberta, coastal British Columbia and southern valleys of the interior.

Even much of the northeastern United States and the upper Great Lakes region is still covered in white.

In Greater Moncton, the snow has mostly disappeared except for man-made snowbanks but as much as 100 cm remains in northern New Brunswick.