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Mild, rainy January expected to continue

Expect our mild and wet January to continue for the next little while, at least.

Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist, Lisa Erven, says we won’t have to break out our snow shovels, just yet, along eastern Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

“For the next one-to-two weeks I’m not seeing anything that would be a slam dunk in terms of low elevation snowfall,” Erven said. “In terms of just scraping your windows, due to the frost build-up in the mornings, that can be a little more localized depending on overnight cloud cover.”

Many parts of the island and Sunshine Coast have seen a deluge of rain, with one system after another hitting the region hard this winter.

Port Hardy has had 122 mm of the wet stuff over the first 10 days of the month, which is well on its way to exceeding its normal amount for the month of roughly 250 mm.

Further down the island in Comox, there’s already been 119 mm of precipitation, which is 69 percent of its normal amount around 172 mm.

Over in Powell River, they’ve seen 114 mm of rain. The usual amount for the entire month is 159 mm, which is 72 percent of their monthly total.

“It’s definitely been a very wet start to January for much of the B.C. coast,” Erven said.

Erven says the precipitation that we’ve seen so far has come in the form of rain, which is unusual for this time of year.

“When we look at what falls in January, some of that total precipitation usually comes down as snow, and we haven’t seen that in any of the communities, really,” 

She explained that the directions that systems approach the coast dictate what kind of weather we’ll be getting.

“What we’ve seen over, not just the beginning of January but through a lot of December, as well, is weather systems approaching from the west or the southwest, and that brings with it more mild air up from the south, and that’s why we’ve seen these storms remain mild, at least at sea level.”

Erven added that in order for us to see snow at or near sea level, the flow has to come from a more northerly direction, bringing in more Arctic air from the Yukon and northern communities, and we just haven’t seen that happen, yet.

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