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Weather Appreciation

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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Aug 28th, 2012, 9:56 pm

^ that's pretty good. Reminds me of driving hwy 20 in the middle of Winter. The Western sections of the Chilcotin plateau has frequent freezing rain events (thank you, Coast Mountains), and to add insult to injury, they cannot salt the hwy since it is paved with seal-coating.

One time I was travelling with my mom when an inch of freezing rain had fallen. We knew we weren't going far without chains, so we found enough loose snow on the shoulder to stop the car - unfortunately on an incline. My mom stepped out the driver side door and started sliding down the road. Luckily there were some ashes in the back of her truck for such an occasion...

Closer to home, it looks like a light dusting of rain today...

3 mm in downtown Kelowna
2 mm out at the University
6 mm in West Kelowna

14 mm in the western sections of Vernon (Okanagan Landing)
3 mm in the downtown part of Vernon
4 mm in Lumby

3 mm in Naramata
5 mm in Summerland
4 mm in Penticton
1 mm in Okanagan Falls
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby grammafreddy » Aug 28th, 2012, 10:35 pm

A dusting of rain???

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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Queen K » Aug 28th, 2012, 10:46 pm

7:30 pm, Needles, clouding over.

Just past Needles, a flash of orange lightening bolt, dark clouds moving in.

Then it's driving rain, pitch black and sheet lightening or bolts every 5-7 minutes.

Just got home.

Much fun.

Oh, and deer.
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 » Sep 3rd, 2012, 7:55 pm

August 24th sticks out like a sore thumb!

UVindex.JPG
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Sep 4th, 2012, 9:41 am

Summer is over in meteorological terms, and as is pretty much always the case, the place with the warmest average temperature in Canada was Windsor, Ontario (23.6 degrees). The place with the coldest average temperature was Alert Bay, Nunavut (3.3°).

Note: the only reason southern Ontario has a warmer average than BC is because their nights are so warm compared to us. If we were to go by daytime temperatures, all the hottest places would be BC.

Lillooet and Ashcroft had BC's hottest average temperature (21.5°C) with Osoyoos right behind (21.2°). The coldest was the Whistler roundhouse station (8.7°C) located way up on the mountain side. The second coldest was Atlin with an average temperature of 11.5 degrees.

The hottest extreme temperatures in Canada were in BC.
1) Lytton: 40.3 °C
2) Ashcroft: 39.8 °C
3) Lillooet: 39.7 °C
4) Hedley: 39.5 °C
5) Windsor, Ontario: 38.5 °C

Other BC hotspots were Osoyoos (38.4), Pemberton (38.2), and Oliver (38.0). Kelowna was 37.4.

Victoria had the driest summer in BC while the area around Bella Bella on the Central Coast was the wettest place in the country. Eureka and Alert Bay way up in the high arctic were the only spots drier than Victoria.

Here is what Nunavut looked like 5 days ago (courtesy of a friend of mine).

wolfNunavut.jpg
muskox.jpg
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Sep 4th, 2012, 12:33 pm

I will have to take back my statement above about BC always having hotter daytime temperatures than Ontario in the summer. The following graph shows some of the hottest places in the country. While the average summertime temperature in BC is hotter, Ontario was hotter this year.

BTW, summer 2012 was hotter than average in the Okanagan (yet again). As you can see from the graph, Kamloops was quite a bit hotter than Kelowna, however, Kelowna was the hotter city in August. Lillooet was the only BC city on the graph that was hotter in July than August.

summer2012T.png
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Sep 7th, 2012, 12:33 pm

strwbrrydvl wrote:Rapid pole shifting is much of a hypothesis but would explain the delayed start to the seasons. You and your friend aren't the only ones noticing how much later our seasons start these days! ..Perhaps Glacier has a less CT explanation for it lol


Weather Appreciation: I'm sure appreciating this weather! Keep it coming :nyah:


Back to strwbrrydvl's comment about a shifting climate...

It's hard not to notice that the Spring has been getting cooler and arriving later while the Fall has been very hot. As a matter of fact, 2011 was the first time in the recorded history of British Columbia (records go back to 1873) that the hottest temperature of the year occurred in September (Hedley was 38 degrees).

This got me thinking: Is this something new or is it merely a cycle that stretches beyond my lifetime?

Because weather stations come and go it would take a little hard to track the average temperature over the entire record, so instead I have compared the highest seasonal extremes recorded in BC in each year where records exist. The figure below compares the seasonal extreme temperature for the previous 25 years all the way back to 1873.

Between the two seasons in question, the Fall records the highest temperature about 54% of the time and Spring 46% (I'm ignoring years where the temperatures were the same), but as graph reveals, about 70% of the "current" past 25 years have hotter falls than springs. Contrast that to around the time I was born in the late 70s where the reverse was true.

Extrapolating my data a little further, it appears that each cycle is 80 years long, with each half cycle being 40 years. If there really is a cycle, then we have approximately 6 years to go before the Spring starts recovering.

springfall.png

BTW, Comparing Spring and Fall is essentially comparing May to September (although there is the odd year where April had a hotter temperature than May).

As mentioned before, 2011 was the only year that the hottest temperature of the year occurred in the Fall, but the hottest yearly temperature has occurred in the Spring a total of 5 times. The last time was 1993.

The hottest Spring temperature ever recorded was in 1936 in Lillooet -> 107 degrees F (41.6 degrees C).

The hottest Fall temperature ever recorded was in 1988 where Williams Lake, McLeese Lake (near Williams Lake), Yale, Billings (near Grand Forks), and Lake Cowichan on the Island all recorded 39 degrees.
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Sep 9th, 2012, 1:29 pm

September heat waves are always interesting because (1) the temperature can be 20 to 30 degrees warmer in the afternoon than the morning and (2) there is very little difference in temperature between high elevation and low elevation spots.

Here is a list that shows how great the temperature changed from morning to afternoon at various places around BC (on either Friday or Saturday depending on which day yielded a larger difference).

City -- Daily Max -- Daily Min --- Difference
Tatlayoko Lk. ----29.2----- 1.6 -----27.6
Princeton----- 30.5----- 3.5 -----27
Puntzi Mtn. -----28.2----- 2.3 -----25.9
Port Alberni -----32.5 -----7.0----- 25.5
Pemberton ----- 31.0 ------ 6.0 ----- 25.0
Lytton -------- 33.8 ----- 9.2---- 24.6
Kelowna----- 28.8----- 5.8 -----23
Osoyoos -----31 -----8.2----- 22.8
Castlegar----- 28 -----5.4 -----22.6
Vernon -----27.7 -----8.3 -----19.4

Apparently, if your town starts with the letter 'P' then you can expect very high daily temperature extremes!
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Sep 20th, 2012, 11:20 am

The 43 hottest temperatures ever recorded in Canada. Notice that all but 5 of them occurred in the 30s and 40s. Also notice that only 3 provinces are represented.

1937 may have recorded the all time Canadian record, but 1936 was a far longer heat wave. It is often referred to as the worst heat wave in Canadian history with 780 people dying when two separate heat waves hit the 110 degree mark in Manitoba. Emerson, Manitoba hit 40 degrees on 7 different days. A record that stands today.


43hottest.png
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby grammafreddy » Sep 20th, 2012, 2:53 pm

Seriously ... Skagit River???
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Sep 21st, 2012, 10:37 am

Yes, Skagit River. This is not too surprising since it is fairly sheltered from the coast, and sits at a relatively low elevation (500m).

There are definitely errors in the database. For example, Environment Canada claims that Grand Forks hit 25 degree in December of '43. This is clearly an error given the time of year and the temperature at surrounding weather stations. Environment Canada also claims that the hottest temperature ever recorded in Newfoundland & Labrador was 41.7 degrees. In my mind this is clearly an error because the temperature the day before and the day after was only 18 degrees.

The 1919 Dauphin, Manitoba temperature on the list above is also suspect.

The Skagit River reading, on the other hand, is not outside the realm of reason. 1941 is the hottest heat wave in history to hit BC (though it really only lasted about 6 days) with 27% of the all weather stations hitting 40 degrees or more, and 64% of them hitting 38 degrees or more (100°F). Compare this to the great heatwave of 1998, where only 4% of weather stations recorded 40 degrees and 16% achieved the 38 degree mark.

While the Coast Mountain/Cascade valleys don't have the hot summers typical of the Okanagan, when they get hot they get really hot. BTW, Princeton (700m elevation) was 32 degrees yesterday while Osoyoos (elevation 290 m) was only 30 degrees even though Osoyoos averages much hotter. Other communities close to or in the Coast Mountains were very hot yesterday. Even Whistler has hit 30 degrees this week, but as soon as the high pressure moves on, these coastal-interior transition zones will get cool weather from the Pacific while the Okanagan will still be basking in relative warmth.

The 1941 heat wave was more acute in the south western part of the province. While some places in BC were hotter in 1998, the average place was 3 degrees higher in 1941. Duncan on Vancouver Island was 41 degrees. Port Alberni was 40 degrees, Britannia Beach right along the ocean was even 39.4 degrees. Places like Stave Falls (near Vancouver) and Hope were 6 degrees hotter in 1941 than 1998. Other places like the Okanagan spots were similar in 1998.

More temperatures from 1941:
    Duncan = 41
    Stui (Bella Coola Valley) = 43
    Revelstoke = 41
    Nanaimo = 41
    Grand Forks = 42
    Vernon = 40
    Salmon Arm = 41
    Hope = 39
    Bralorne (way up in the mountains) = 38
    Tatlayoko Lake (up in the mountains) = 38
    Princeton = 42
    Williams Lake = 41
    Penticton = 41
    Kelowna = 39
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Sep 24th, 2012, 3:51 pm

The following table shows all recordings of 165mm or less in BC's history.

Notice that the driest year on record in the Okanagan was 1929 (and by a wide margin). Kelowna (though not on the table) was very dry that year recording a mere 224 mm (150mm below normal), and Oliver was closer to 200mm below normal.


Notice also that most of the wettest recordings occurred in the 1920s...

Number of occurrences of less than 165mm by decade:
    1870s-1910s---------0
    1920s ---------------14
    1930s ---------------7
    1940s ---------------3
    1950s ---------------4
    1960s --------------3
    1970s------------- 2
    1980s -------------2
    1990s -------------0
    2000s------------- 0

TABLE:
driestBC.png


Normals:
    Kelowna = 380 mm
    Oliver = 315 mm
    Penticton = 330 mm
    Vernon = 480 mm
    Kamloops = 270 mm
    Ashcroft = 200 mm
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Cumungala » Sep 25th, 2012, 9:14 pm

Its no surprise that Ashcroft made that list multiple times. Its just plain dry there. Even the name sounds desert like. I am surprised though that Greenwood made the list with only 164mm that one year. I would have thought that Grand Forks or even Midway would have been much drier that year since Greenwood is higher up.

Its still sort of early but does anyone know what kind of winter it will be like? I hope its a neutral one this year because El Nino and apparently La Nina as well mean warmer and drier weather for our area. I'm hoping for some snow this year!!
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Glacier » Sep 26th, 2012, 12:09 pm

It is true that precipitation increases with the age old linear formula y=mx+b, but this does not mean that all rain events will hit one town harder than another because of a 250m difference in elevation. In 1929 Grand Forks was drier than Greenwood most of the year, however, Grand Forks was hit with a good rainstorm in June that happened to miss Greenwood (or so it seems).

If the data can be trusted, then Greenwood only received 10.6 mm of precipitation the entire summer making it the 13th driest summer in recorded history. Here are the others.

    Year - Town - Amount
    1896 - Nicola Lake - 7.7 mm
    1916 - Qualicum - Beach 8.9 mm
    1925 - Keremeos - 10.4 mm
    1928 - Telkwa - 8.9 mm
    1929 - Greenwood - 10.6 mm (see above)
    1934 - Greenwood - 3.8 mm
    1938 - Elko - 9.1 mm
    1940 - Lytton - 5.1 mm
    1951 - Cameron Lake - 3.0 mm
    1970 - Lytton - 9.3 mm
    1974 - Grassy Plains - 7.6 mm
    2003 - Summerland - 10.4 mm
    2009 - Lillooet - 8.9 mm

BTW, Ashcroft is by far the driest place in BC on an annual basis, but it is not even close being the driest in the summer. Osoyoos is drier, and so is Victoria. Though weather records in Ashcroft existed from 1912 to 1986, it was only ever the driest summer in BC twice.

Also, you have to remember than not every town is represented. In 1929 there weren't very many weather stations around. It's likely that Midway, Rock Creek, or Osoyoos were drier than Greenwood, but they didn't have weather stations back then.

ETA: one more thing. Just because a place has an extremely dry year doesn't mean it is always dry. Some places are more consistent than others with it comes to precipitation and temperature.
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Re: Weather Appreciation

Postby Lady tehMa » Sep 26th, 2012, 12:15 pm

Given history, cycles and such; how reliable would something like the farmer's almanac be for weather prognostication? I've always been curious.
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