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Weather Appreciation

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Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Jan 11th, 2011, 1:13 pm

Summary of the 2010 weather in Canada.

Warmest Average Temperature:
    Outside BC ------- Windsor, ON (11.3°C)
    Inside BC --------- Point Atkinson (11.4 °C)
    Okanagan -------- Peachland (10.4 °C)

Coldest Average Temperature:
    Outside BC ------- Eureka, NU (-15.9°C)
    Inside BC --------- Dease Lake (0.2 °C)
    Okanagan -------- Vernon (9.1 °C)

Hottest Temperature:
    Outside BC ------- Onefour, AB (37.7°C)
    Inside BC --------- Ashcroft, BC (38.8 °C), Lillooet (38.6 °C)
    Okanagan -------- Oosyoos (36.8 °C)


Coldest Temperature:
    Outside BC ------- Old Crow, YT (-47.6°C)
    Inside BC --------- Dease Lake (-39.0 °C)
    Okanagan -------- Kelowna (-21.0 °C)

Driest:
    Outside BC ------- Eureka, NU (108.5 mm)
    Inside BC --------- Williams Lake (297.6 mm) **
    Okanagan -------- Penticton (386.2 mm)

** Correction: Environment Canada has finally posted the complete data for Kamloops, leaving this city as the driest spot in BC with 276.2 mm.
Last edited by Glacier on Apr 4th, 2011, 12:29 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Lady tehMa » Jan 11th, 2011, 2:22 pm

I do appreciate our weather - hearing about the blizzards over in Sask where my sis-in-law lives, makes me awfully glad to be an Okanagan resident.

Cool stats Glace, thx for posting! :sunshine:
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Jan 11th, 2011, 9:44 pm

Glad you like them.

Most of the stats were predictable (Chilliwack is the warmest place in Canada, Windsor is the warmest place outside of BC, and Nunavut is the coldest place in Canada), but there were a couple surprises too.

I didn't know that the Okanagan (as gaged from Penticton) had a wetter than average year (average = 373mm), and I did not expect Williams Lake to be the driest place in BC. I guess that is why they had all those fires in the summer! I'd say that Kamloops was drier, but it has two days missing from last year, so we'll never know. Penticton was the only place in the Okanagan without missing precipitation days, so it was both the driest and wettest place in the Okanagan Valley last year. lol.
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Lady tehMa » Jan 11th, 2011, 10:11 pm

Do you see any trends emerging?
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Jan 13th, 2011, 9:26 am

I see no trends from the data I posted, only that 2010 was a pretty tame year weatherwise. No +40°C or -50°C in Canada. No -40°C in BC, and no extreme drought. 2009, by contrast, was colder than normal with more extremes.

WARNING: You have opened a large can of worms, Lady tehMa, by encouraging me to talk about my favourite subject - the weather. I may not shut up until taken aside and threatened. You have been warned!

As for the weather to come in 2011, there are two cyclical weather patterns that I'm aware of that do effect the weather. The first one is the LRC (Lezak's Reccurring Cycle) which is 50 days long (+/-) this year. This system describes how westerlies cycle through our area of the world. The second cycle is the AO (Arctic Oscillation) which oscillates between high and low pressure at the poles, thereby determining the strength and extent of arctic blasts during the winter this cycle is about 21 days long this year). There are probably more I don't know know about, but I'm no meteorologist.

We just witnessed the recurrence of the cold and the storms of November 20th (+/-) as the LRC would have predicted - but not nearly as cold as I predicted. lol. Probably because (in party) of how the AO cycle fit into things. I don't know of anyone else in Canada who has looked at the LRC to make weather predictions, so I was going out on a limb with my predictions last month.

Other patterns and currents indirectly effect our local weather, like El nino and the PDO, and others seem to have no effect at all, like La Nina. Strong La Nina years (and this was the strongest one in my lifetime) tend to bring normal winter conditions to our part of the world, so maybe this is some sort of effect afterall. La Nina sure affects Australia, where strong La Nina years mean flooding.


Summary of the 2009 weather in Canada.

Warmest Average Temperature:
    Outside BC ------- Windsor, ON (10.0°C)
    Inside BC --------- Vancouver Harbour (10.9 °C)
    Okanagan -------- Peachland (9.6 °C)

Coldest Average Temperature:
    Outside BC ------- Eureka, NU (-17.7°C)
    Inside BC --------- Fort Nelson (-1.5 °C)
    Okanagan -------- Kelonwna (7.4 °C)

Hottest Temperature:
    Outside BC ------- Treelon, SK (38.5°C)
    Inside BC --------- Lillooet and Bella Coola (41.2 °C)
    Okanagan -------- Oosyoos (39.5 °C)
Coldest Temperature:
    Outside BC ------- McQuesten, YT (-52°C)
    Inside BC --------- Chetwynd (-43.8 °C)
    Okanagan -------- Kelowna (-24.3 °C)

Driest:
    Outside BC ------- Eureka, NU (69.8 mm)
    Inside BC --------- Kamloops (183.9 mm)
    Okanagan -------- Penticton (350.3 mm)

Wettest:
    Outside BC ------- Ingonish Beach, NS (1762.7 mm)
    Inside BC --------- Boat Bluff [Klemtu] (4,302.1 mm)
    Okanagan -------- Vernon (412.4 mm)

Snowiest:
    Outside BC ------- Cartwright, NL (528.6 cm)
    Inside BC --------- Whistler Roundhouse (1043.2 cm)
    Okanagan -------- Vernon (140 cm)

From 2010

Wettest:
    Outside BC ------- St. John's, NL (1905.6 mm)
    Inside BC --------- Boat Bluff [Klemtu] (5059. mm)
    Okanagan -------- Penticton (386.3 mm)

Snowiest:
    Outside BC ------- Wabush Lake, NL (510.8 cm)
    Inside BC --------- Whistler Roundhouse (1215.9 cm)
    Okanagan -------- Vernon (79.6 cm)
Last edited by Glacier on Jan 17th, 2011, 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Queen K » Jan 13th, 2011, 9:56 am

Glace, got snow up where you are? Dry snow, wet snow? Cm's? Why or why not?
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 Lady tehMa » Jan 13th, 2011, 10:09 am

:coffeecanuck: I accept your disclaimer

I am noticing that Penticton and Vernon show up as extremes more often that Kelowna. Would that be because we are located between them?
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Queen K » Jan 13th, 2011, 10:12 am

Lady tehMa, we may be guilty of feeding a habit and need counselling as to why we are being co-dependant to his weather addiction. :wink:
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 » Jan 13th, 2011, 2:07 pm

I did not get nearly as much snow this week at my place as I did last week when I had 22 cm at my place. Kelowna got the brunt of this week's storm.

I'd say your assessment is right about Kelowna being in the middle because it gets hotter and drier as you move down the valley. Also, some weather stations are better than others. Penticton is the most reliable one in the valley, so has more data to draw from.

CHNL (Radio NL) out of Kamloops mentions yesterday's hottest and coldest places in Canada and BC during the morning weather forecast, One thing I noticed is that Kelowna was never mentioned. Osoyoos is often a hotspot as is Kamloops, and even Vernon and Salmon Arm make the list on occasion. However, I've never heard Kelowna (or Penticton for that matter) ever mentioned as the BC or Canadian hotspot.

From this last summer, I notice that West Kelowna was the hottest place in BC once, but I don't trust that weather station because it is at the winery where they probably take their measurements after having a few glasses of wine.

Number of days being the hottest place in BC in the Summer of 2010(June,July, August)
Town--------------------Days
Lillooet--------------------------14
Ashcroft-------------------------13
Hedley---------------------------8
Oliver-----------------------------7
Stui-------------------------------6
Castlegar Dam------------------6
Osoyoos-------------------------5
Lytton---------------------------5
Bella Coola ---------------------4
Castlegar A---------------------3
Kamloops------------------------3
Vanderhoof----------------------3
Fort Nelson---------------------3
Midway--------------------------3
Nakusp---------------------------2
Myra Creek----------------------2
Trail (Warfield)------------------1
Alberni Roberson Creek--------1
Vernon (Coldstream)----------1
Ft Steele------------------------1
Chetwynd------------------------1
Prince George-------------------1
Merritt---------------------------1
Nelson----------------------------1
West Kelowna (Quail's Gate)---1
Puntzi Mountain-----------------1
Malibu---------------------------1
Port Alberni---------------------1
Port Alberni Cox Lake ----------1
Pleasant Camp-----------------1
Cloverdale ---------------------1
Zeballos------------------------1
Penticton----------------------0
Peachland---------------------0
Kelowna-----------------------0
Summerland------------------0


Would you look at that, Fort Nelson and Bella Coola are more likely than Kelowna or Penticton to be the hot spots in the province!

Off to go check in for rehab...
Last edited by Glacier on Jan 13th, 2011, 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Lady tehMa » Jan 13th, 2011, 2:36 pm

Wow, Fort Nelson and Bella Coola? Whodathunkit!

I've noticed Castlegar runs about the same as we do, but sometimes a bit hotter and sometimes a bit wetter as well.
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Re: Inversions Part I

Postby Glacier » Jan 26th, 2011, 2:02 pm

Let me revisit this one...

Lady tehMa wrote:I am noticing that Penticton and Vernon show up as extremes more often that Kelowna. Would that be because we are located between them?


Au contraire. Kelowna does frequently show up as a weather extreme. Looking every weather station in the Valley (I'm excluding Silverstar), the Kelowna Airport is the coldest spot, bar none. Kelowna only failed to get a sweep over the past five years because the airport weather station was out of operation for several months last year rendering the data useless for compiling an average.

Coldest Average Annual Temperature in the Okanagan Valley:
    2006 --------- Kelowna (8.1°C)
    2007 --------- Kelowna (7.8°C)
    2008 --------- Kelowna (7.0°C)
    2009 --------- Kelowna (7.4°C)
    2010 --------- Vernon (9.1°C)

Extreme Minimum Temperature in the Okanagan Valley:
    2006 --------- Kelowna (-26.6°C)
    2007 --------- Kelowna (-23.1°C)
    2008 --------- Kelowna (-30.6°C)
    2009 --------- Kelowna (-24.3°C)
    2010 --------- Kelowna (-21.0°C)

Image

You would ask, "why is the Kelowna airport colder than places in the Okanagan?"

Why thank you for asking!

First of all, the Kelowna airport is situated in a notorious frost hollow, so even though the three weather stations in Vernon and Winfield are about 100m higher in elevation and further north, the airport is usually a few degrees colder at night.

This weather phenomenon is better known as a temperature inversion brought about when the cold, heavy air becomes trapped below the less dense heavy air. Such conditions commonly occur a warm front passes over top of cold air at the surface. Often the famous Okanagan "valley cloud" sets in as a result.

The potentially more extreme form of inversion forms on clear, calm nights when the rapidly cooling surface air sinks down into the low spots. Two things kill a temperature inversion, wind and solar radiation, while moist air moderates its effect. Now it just happens to be that the airport lacks the wind commonly found up and down the valley, hence the reason cold air will settle at the airport more readily than winder places like Penticton and Osoyoos.

Don't get me wrong, Penticton is not exempt from a temperature inversion, but even a light breeze modifies the effect. I can tell the just by looking at the average temperature data that Peachland is probably the windiest spot around because it has the warmest nighttime temperatures (am I right?).

That is today's weather appreciation.
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Re: Inversions Part II

Postby Glacier » Jan 30th, 2011, 1:59 am

Winter Inversions start to get more interesting as you travel further north - and not much further north either. The most extreme inversions occur in places with very dry air, no wind, and bowl-shaped valleys.

You only have to travel about as far north of Vernon as the U.S. border is south to find one of coldest places in BC - Puntzi Mountain. This cold spot is situated in a shallow valley in the middle on the cold, dry Chilcotin Plateau.

Despite being in the bottom 3rd of the province, Puntzi Mountain is the only locale to be the yearly provincial cold spot more than once in the past five years.

Extreme Minimum Temperature in the BC:
    2006 -------- Puntzi Mountain (-41.3°C)
    2007 --------- Puntzi Mountain (-42.8°C)
    2008 --------- Fort Nelson (-45.5°C)
    2009 --------- Chetwynd (-43.8°C)
    2010 --------- Dease Lake (-39.0°C)

TatlaValley.jpg

Compared to nearby Tatlayoko Lake (situated to the west), Puntzi Mountain is often 20 or more degrees colder even though both places are at about the same elevation and lattitude. While they are both in valley bottoms that can trap cold air, Tatlayoko is one of the windiest places in the BC Interior while Puntzi makes the Kelowna airport look like the Windy City.

If we compare Puntzi to the Williams Lake airport due east of the Chilcotin (also at the same lattitude and elevation), we once again get major temperature differences. Only this time geography is the reason. The Williams Lake airport is up ontop of a mountain (over 1000 ft higher than the city), so the cold, heavy air sinks down into the valley.

Much further to the east, but at the same lattitude, we run into Blue River. This North Thompson town is the only place in BC that gets less wind than Puntzi Mountain, so we would expect this place to also be a cold spot, but it is not. While both places are in valley bottoms and both places lack wind to prevent cold air inversions, the air is much wetter in Blue River, so heat cannot be radiated out into splace nearly as quickly in the North Thompson.

It is easy to see why Puntzi Mountain (record: -52.8°C [-63°F]) is unfathonably colder than Kelowna given the fact it gets less wind than Kelowna, has drier air than Kelowna, situated at a higher elevation than Kelowna, and further north than Kelowna. It's not so bad in the Okaganagan, is it?


That is today's Weather Appreciation.
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Inversions Part III

Postby Glacier » Feb 3rd, 2011, 10:26 am

When it comes to the Canadian Arctic, the Yukon is downright tropical in the winter, however, when the Yukon does get a cold snap, it get cold! During a Yukon cold snap, the largest mountains in Canada block block warm, moist Pacific air from moving into the territory. Cold, dry Arctic air then dominates, pooling in the valley floors where most communities are located. During the long cold, clear northern nights, more heat is lost through radiation.

These factors combined with the lack of wind and high air pressure sets up extreme Yukon temperature inversions. It is often the case that the valley floor is -50°C while a hike 2,000 feet up a hill brings you near or even above zero. It would be like it being -50 in downtown Kelowna, but only 0 degrees above at Joe Rich Creek.

Another interesting phenomenon with such extreme temperature inversions is that an airplane travelling 20,000 feet overhead sounds like it is in your living room.

Extreme Minimum Temperature in Canada:
    2006 ------- Fort Good Hope, NWT (-50°C)
    2007 --------- Ogilvie River, YT (-54.5°C)
    2008 --------- Mayo, YT (-53.8°C)
    2009 --------- McQuesten, YT (-52°C)
    2010 --------- Old Crow, YT (-47.6°C)

Image

An interesting note is that it was 64 years ago today in 1947, that the bottom dropped out of the thermometer across Canada's Yukon Territories. Before the morning of 3 February dawned on Snag (Yukon), the alcohol in the thermometer had vacated the thermometer's stem and receded into the instrument's bulb, leaving the minus 80 °F (minus 62.2 °C) mark behind, the last tick on the thermometer's scale. In order to measure the temperature, they had to etch a mark into the glass and have the thermometer sent to a lab in Toronto for the official reading of 81.4 °F (minus 63 °C). A temperature so cold that only Siberia, Greenland, and Antarctica have attained.

On that record-setting day, the morning weather observation reported a surface pressure at 1037 mb, calm winds and visibility of 32 km (20 miles). In some directions, visibility was reduced by patches of ice fog, most noticeably over the area where a dog-team resided. The snow on the ground measured 38 cm (15 inches) but, due to the intense dryness of the air, was decreasing at a rate of about 1.3 cm (a half an inch) per day. The record low was recorded at 720 am (YST), an hour and twenty-two minutes before sunrise. The high for the day would reach only minus 56 °F (minus 48.9 °C).

http://www.islandnet.com/~see/weather/e ... ife-80.htm
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Lady tehMa » Feb 4th, 2011, 11:28 am

I am really enjoying the pictures with the data.

What sort of trends are we looking at for Feb? About 4 or so years ago there was a remarkably warm spell during a Feb . . . I think. It's more of a vague impression than a true memory.
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Feb 8th, 2011, 9:34 am

If I were to make prediction for this month, I'd say it is likely that a good cold snap will set in around the 22nd (give a or take a few days). It's much easier to look back than predict the future, however...

January was warmer than normal around the province, so warm, in fact, that some locations never had a single day of frost (three remote coastal Islands). With exception of Bella Coola and Addenbroke Island (wherever that is), the temperature last month was at or above normal for the month everywhere in the province. By contrast, other provinces such as Ontario and Manitoba were colder than normal.

The warmest recorded temperature in the country was Lillooet, BC at 17.5 °C, and the coldest spot was Watson Lake, YT (a stone's throw over the BC border) at -52.8 °C.

By contrast, the Okanagan extremes were +13.5 °C (West Kelowna and Peachland) and -14.5°C (Kelowna).

Image

The snowiest places in the country:
    Mica Dam, BC (279 cm)
    Whistler Roundhouse (191.1 cm)
    Blue River, BC (182.3 cm)

The wettest place:
    Boat Bluff, BC (717.2 mm)
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