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Weather Appreciation

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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Spocky » Feb 5th, 2013, 8:01 am

Great input, everyone! This forum is a repository for a wealth of information. Maybe the Osoyoos chamber should consider placing the weather station in the middle of a reflective parabolic dish! "Look! We hit +37C in January!" That should get the snowbirds to ditch Phoenix in favor of nearer climes! :)
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby LoneWolf_53 » Feb 5th, 2013, 10:10 am

Spocky I can sympathize with your frustration at weather report fluctuations, but in reality come on now, we live in the mountains, as such I doubt there's really anywhere a weather station can be located, that is going to accurately reflect every household.

If a person wants a truly accurate indication of weather in their specific location, then the best solution would be to get a good reliable thermometer, put it in an acceptable spot, and combine that with looking out the window. :wink:

To demonstrate, I live probably no more than two kilometres from Kelowna airport, as the crow flies, yet often times the information displayed on my weather app (which relies on data from the airport weather station CAXX0216) is completely different than what's happening at the airport.
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Spocky » Feb 5th, 2013, 10:30 am

LoneWolf_53 wrote:Spocky I can sympathize with your frustration at weather report fluctuations, but in reality come on now, we live in the mountains, as such I doubt there's really anywhere a weather station can be located, that is going to accurately reflect every household.

If a person wants a truly accurate indication of weather in their specific location, then the best solution would be to get a good reliable thermometer, put it in an acceptable spot, and combine that with looking out the window. :wink:

To demonstrate, I live probably no more than two kilometres from Kelowna airport, as the crow flies, yet often times the information displayed on my weather app (which relies on data from the airport weather station CAXX0216) is completely different than what's happening at the airport.


Granted, but the effect that this level of geographic variance between a "holler" and the lakeshore where most people are IMHO is having an effect on tourism and relocation. People are relying on climatic information that is essentially inaccurate by as much as several degrees, and it makes Kelowna seem more like frosty Williams Lake than the semi tropical paradise by the shore which it actually is! :sunshine:
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby LoneWolf_53 » Feb 5th, 2013, 10:47 am

My point is you can pick it apart all you like, but we live in an area where fluctuation is the norm.

When I first moved here I was in West Kelowna and often times my temps were three degrees warmer than what Kelowna recorded. I next moved to Lakeview and again temps were often several degrees different from Kelowna.

I have a friend in the upper Mission, who happens to be a bit of a weather nut, and his readings are often vastly different from Kelowna. So my point is how do you decided which location is accurate? You can't really because with the lake having that bend in it you can be in one spot and have the wind directly in your face, then move a couple blocks over and it's a different story.

It doesn't matter where a weather station would be put, someone would complain that it's inaccurate.

ETA: Oh in regards to that "Semi Tropical Paradise by the Shore" even that depends on where on the shore you are. I lived for several years a half block from the water by Old Meadows Road in the Mission area, and let me tell you, that was one of the coolest windiest places I've ever been, thanks to the wind whipping straight up the valley, and particularly in winter it was far from what I'd call a tropical paradise.
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Feb 5th, 2013, 11:12 am

Good point about the wind, Longwolf! Since the airport is sheltered from the wind, I bet that taking into account windchill makes the airport feel warmer than the rest of the city a lot more than the temperature would indicate.

I wouldn't say we live in the mountains though. Rather, I say we live in the valleys, and are mostly surrounded by plateaus and hills. Semantics, I know. :sillygrin:

Spocky wrote:Granted, but the effect that this level of geographic variance between a "holler" and the lakeshore where most people are IMHO is having an effect on tourism and relocation. People are relying on climatic information that is essentially inaccurate by as much as several degrees, and it makes Kelowna seem more like frosty Williams Lake than the semi tropical paradise by the shore which it actually is! :sunshine:

Actually, the Kelowna airport is closer to the actual downtown temperature than the Williams Lake airport is to downtown Williams Lake.

OKANAGAN area weather stations (north to south):

    Lumby Sigalet Rd.(560 m elevation) = 6.7°C (average annual temperature)
    Vernon Bella Vista (427 m) = 8.7°C
    Vernon (556 m) = 8.1°C
    Vernon Coldstream Ranch (482 m) = 7.4°C
    Winfield (503 m) = 8.5°C

    Kelowna Airport (430 m) = 7.7°C
    Kelowna East (491 m) = 8.8°C
    Kelowna PC Burnetts Nursery (350 m) = 9.0°C

    Peachland (345 m) = 9.7°C
    Summerland (454 m) = 8.9
    Penticton Airport (344 m) = 9.2°C

Now let's compare the two Williams Lake weather stations:
    Williams Lake airport (940 m) = 4.2°C
    Williams Lake river (585 m) = 6.5°C

Higher Elevation Places in the Okanagan:
    McCulloch (1250 m) = 2.8°C
    Joe Rich Creek (875 m) = 4.7°C

Yes, the Kelowna airport is 1.3 degrees colder than the warmest weather station in the city (and thus only 1.2 degrees warmer than the lower elevations of Williams Lake), but the Williams Lake airport is 2.3 degrees colder than the valley bottom.

Note: Williams Lake and Lumby are about the same in terms of average temperature, but Williams Lake is colder in the winter and warmer in the summer. Similarly, Joe Rich Creek is comparable to the Williams Lake airport in terms of average annual temperature and elevation (although slightly cooler in the summer and significantly warmer in the winter).

A long time ago I made mention of the weather winners, and noted how Williams Lake was 90th (of 100) for hottest summer while Kamloops was #1, but if the Kamloops airport were moved up on the plateau (around 900 m elevation) like the Williams Lake airport is, and conversely, the Williams Lake airport were moved down to the valley bottom, then Williams Lake would officially have hotter summers than Kamloops!

On more additional point about the Osoyoos weather station. My surmising about the reasons for keeping the weather station where it is was pure speculation, so don't put much weight in what I said about that.
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Feb 5th, 2013, 3:25 pm

I've posted this before, but I'll post it again just to emphasize the point that within a small geographic area such as the Okanagan, the average temperatures will stay the same relative to each other no matter if the world warms, cools, or stays the same. Environment Canada is set to update the climate normals from the current time-frame (1971 to 2000) to the new time-frame (1981 to 2010) sometime this year (or so they say).

The following table shows how the temperature has changed at four major weather stations in our area. Notice how remarkably similar the changes are between each location. Also notice that no month has gotten cooler while most of them have become warmer - especially January. January has warmed so much that for the first time in recorded history, it is no longer the coldest month of the year...

NewNormals.png
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Cumungala » Feb 5th, 2013, 6:06 pm

Well the snowpack at my place has completely melted as of today except for small patches and piles where it was shoveled. There was snow on the ground constantly from December 14 until now, which is 53 days. If you add in the other days where there was snow on the ground earlier in December and November, it equals about 60 days. There will probably be another 8 or 10 days with snow until the end of the winter, so the total will probably be 70 days of snow on the ground this winter. This is slightly above normal for lower parts of Kelowna (normal is around 50-60 days per year). Higher parts of Kelowna still have plenty of snow but they will probably lose it in a week or so if it stays warm like this.
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Spocky » Feb 6th, 2013, 3:28 am

Thanks for all the amazing information, folks! I keep saying what an amazing resource this site it, and this goes a long way to proving it. As for the comparison with Williams Lake and the semi tropical bit, that was tongue in cheek but the info provided is great as it really gives a really in depth look at the various microclimate zones in the area. That chart is fantastic and it's amazing that the Jan. temp has zoomed up so much in what is effectively a decade. Another couple of decades of that and we'll be growing bananas here! (Just kiddin')

The 14 day trend on The Weather Network calls for temps to stay above normal throughout. They're often wrong, but it does seem like we have a shot at having essentially a snow free February! Wouldn't that be amazing? I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until I have no breath left: The Okanagan is the best place to live in all of Canada!
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby GenesisGT » Feb 7th, 2013, 4:05 pm

A weather forecast I can appreciate,
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Feb 8th, 2013, 1:10 am

^ Indeed!

Going back 110 years, the last three decades have been 3 of the 4 warmest on record. The following list is from warmest to coolest...

  1. 2001 to 2010
  2. 1991 to 2000
  3. 1931 to 1940
  4. 1981 to 1990
  5. 1901 to 1910
  6. 1941 to 1950
  7. 1921 to 1930
  8. 1961 to 1970
  9. 1971 to 1980
  10. 1951 to 1960
  11. 1911 to 1920

In terms of precipitation, things have been getting progressively wetter, but the past decade was both hot and dry (which is very unusual).
  1. 1991 to 2000
  2. 1981 to 1990
  3. 1941 to 1950
  4. 1911 to 1920
  5. 1961 to 1970
  6. 1921 to 1930
  7. 1971 to 1980
  8. 2001 to 2010
  9. 1951 to 1960
  10. 1931 to 1940
  11. 1901 to 1910

Sometimes it's easier to graph it. I'm using Kamloops as a reference because the continuous records for the Okanagan valley are not as long.

INTERESTING NOTE: for the first 4 decades, there was an inverse relationship between precipitation and temperature, but then for the next 5 decades there was a direct relationship. The most recent decade seems to have reverted back to the inverse relationship.

temprecip.PNG
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Feb 8th, 2013, 1:59 pm

Here is how precipitation has changed in our area with the new climate normals. Notice that without exception February has become significantly drier and October significantly wetter.

June is still the wettest month of the year in Kamloops, Kelowna, and Penticton while Princeton's wettest month is now November instead of January.

The driest month of the year for Kelowna and Kamloops has moved from March to February, and March has remained the driest month in Princeton. Notice that Princeton is now as dry as Penticton.

Like Kelowna and Kamloops, Penticton is now at its driest in February, with the former driest month, October, slipping all the way down to fifth place.

It's a bit rich to say that this is the new "normal" because as we know yesterday's weather has little bearing on what tomorrow will bring us. I have to agree with another poster who said that 30 year time span is too short to truly calculate climatic conditions because the sun operates on 60 year cycles for one thing.

Instead of saying, "February is now the driest month of the year," I should be saying, "over the past 30 years February has been the driest month of the year." If I were striving for accuracy that is.

PrecipitationChange.png
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Feb 11th, 2013, 12:52 pm

I was just looking at the stats from last month, and noticed that the Okanagan was pretty much the coldest place in BC for the month of January (if we go by the extreme maximum temperature achieved for the month).

Vernon only made it up to 2.8 degrees while Kelowna only made it up to 3.6 degrees. The only places colder than Vernon were Dease Lake and Mica Dam (the snowiest place in BC last month).

By comparison, Fort Nelson and even Whitehorse, Yukon, recorded 10.9 degrees in January. The warmest place in BC was Port Alice at 14 degrees, and the warmest place in the Interior of BC occurred in the Chilcotin community of Tatlayoko Lake at 12.3 degrees.

The warmest place in Canada was Junniper, New Brunswick at +19 degrees. McQuesten and Dawson, Yukon, where the only places in Canada to drop below -50.

The only place in BC that saw a record temperature last month was the Puntzi Mountian Airport when it hit 10 degrees there.
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Feb 18th, 2013, 5:15 pm

2012 YEAR IN REVIEW:

  • Kamloops was the driest place in BC for the 7th year in a row, though wetter than the average with 292 mm [11.5 inches] of precipitation. This marks the first time in 6 years that we saw a wetter than normal year.

  • For the 6th year in a row, the central coast lighthouse at Boat Bluff was the wettest place in BC with 3998 mm [157 inches or 13.1 feet] of precipitation.

  • For the 4th year in a row, The Whistler roundhouse lodge was the snowiest place in BC with 1376 cm [45 feet] of snow.

  • For the 1st time in 4 years, Puntzi Mountain (Chilanko Forks) recorded the coldest temperature in province with a -43.7°C reading.

  • Also for the 1st time in 4 years, Lytton recorded the hottest temperature in the province hitting 40.3°C last summer.

  • For the 7th time in the past 8 years, Dease Lake had the provinces coldest average temperature at -1.3°C.

  • The warmest average temperature was the Point Atkinson Lightouse in West Vancouver at 10.8°C. 2012 was one of those rare years where the interior was almost as warm as the coast. Lytton was 10.6°C and Peachland was 10.5°C. Interesting, there have been a few times in the past where the average annual temperature was warmer in the interior than the coast. The last time was 1967 when Lytton averaged 11.7°C.

  • Windsor, Ontario, was the warmest place in Canada in 2012 with an average temperature of 12.2 degrees. This is the 3rd year in a row that Windsor has bested BC for the Canada's warmest spot.

  • As is almost always the case, the place with the coldest average annual temperature in Canada was Eureka, Nunavut (-17.5°C). Eureka was also the driest place in Canada for the 10th year in a row (72 mm [2.8 inches]).

  • For the 6th year in a row, the coldest temperature recorded in Canada was in the Yukon. This time it was a -52.1°C reading in Old Crow.
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Queen K » Feb 18th, 2013, 5:16 pm

:purefury: It's snowing, SNOWING in Kelowna right now.

Appreciate that!
Please stop bragging on facebook about how great the Okanagan is right now, or they'll want to move here.
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Feb 19th, 2013, 6:26 pm

Evidently they lied because we didn't get any snow last night. :purefury:

Here is an interesting graph showing which years were the hottest and coldest. It should be of no surprise that 1998 was the warmest year on record (or at least since 1980). 56% of weather stations in operation in 1998 agree that it was indeed the year with the warmest average annual temperature.

Interestingly, it was only two years earlier in 1996 that we saw the second coldest year with 57% of weather stations recording that year as the coldest. The coldest year was 1985 where 59% of weather stations recorded their respective coldest yearly temperature. Interestingly, it was only two years later that we saw the second warmest year on record with just over 40% of weather stations counting that year as the warmest.

hottestcoldestannualtemp.png
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