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More rain than snow in November

This was the weather on December 1st at Lakeside Park in Nelson as sunshine from the sky replaced snow on the ground. — The Nelson Daily photo

There was more rain than snow in November said Jesse Ellis, Fire Weather Forecaster for the Southeast Fire Centre, in his monthly weather synopsis.

Ellis said milder than average temperatures meant that the bulk of the month's precipitation fell as rain and we received 6 percent more rain than usual but less than half of the normal amount of snow.  “Bare ground at the end of the month is not uncommon,” Ellis said, “(as) nine of last ten years had 3cm or less on the ground on the last day of the month.”

Ellis said November began with rains of October continuing early into the month with a mild westerly flow in control over the West Kootenay.  “An upper ridge strengthening off the BC coast led to a cooler and more unstable northwesterly flow by around (November) 7th,” he said. “This allowed temperature to trend gradually cooler ahead of the next wave of Pacific moisture that produced 7.4cm of snow on (November) 9th.”

Ellis said this would turn out to be the greatest snowfall of the month, falling well short of the daily record of 37.9cm from November 1, 1984.  He said the offshore ridge then drifted inland and remained in control until around (November) 20th.

Ellis said the next most significant storm produced an accumulation of 4 cm of wet snow during the night of (November) 26th with two to three times the amount of rain falling as snow (by weight). 

“Elevation changes of only a few hundred metres were reported to have made a significant difference to local accumulations during this event,” he said.

Ellis said cooler spells were mainly a result of radiational cooling on clear (or partly clear) and calm nights.  “Arctic air never made it into the area which, in combination with frequent periods in a mild westerly or southwesterly flow led to a mean monthly temperature that was 1.2 degrees warmer than average.”

Ellis said total precipitation for November was 21 per cent below normal this year. 

Environment Canada is calling for clear skies for most of the next few days with the next possible precipitation expect the following week.

Whitewater is gearing for Opening Day, set for Friday, December 7.